First Manta Ray to Be Exhibited in North America

The Georgia Aquarium just unveiled the latest addition to it's bigger-is-better strategy: Nandi the manta ray. Apparently rescued from shark nets off the Coast of South Africa, Nandi spent the last few months living at uShaka Marine World in Durban, South Africa. When it became clear that Nandi was going to outgrow her enclosure and that the Georgia Aquarium could house her (and maybe pay handsomely for her?), the wheels were set in motion. Nandi will be the first manta ray to be exhibited in the United States.

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Nandi doing her thing. Photo credit to John Bazemore, AP Photo

Currently 9ft from wingtip to wingtip, Nandi is but a tyke compared to her fully grown brethren which reach up to 26 feet across.

Check out Nandi's journey in this video

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If you go to the Georgia Aquarium's website, you'll get the rest of the story. Whoever wrote this didn't even bother to do that. Shark nets have been controversially used in South Africa for decades. It also says the animal was donated. Having dove with mantas in a couple of places, I have to say holy crap! These things are huge and amazing, never thought I'd see one in an aquarium. Although the Georgia Aquarium website also says Mantas are in Japan, Spain and the Bahamas.

jack - your comments are fair. i updated the article to reflect the shark nets. still not sure about the donation part but will look into it and update accordingly.

I saw the one in the Bahamas a couple years back. Her name was Rosie, and she at the aquarium at the Atlantis resort and she was spectacular. She was getting too big then, so they said they were going to get a smaller manta.

jack the ripper - way to give my brother what he had coming to him...I like it! Can I enlist you to fact check Andrew's writing on a regular basis? Did you know that once Andrew kneed me in the face and made one of my front teeth loose? I know! What an A-Hole, right?

Um 26 ft across, huh. So do you folks who know about this think the Georgia Aquarium has the room and the will to build a tank for this not so wee beastie? Especially one that will take its final size into account.

*Adds another entry to her 'Things I fear in the Ocean' list*

Amazing. 26 feet wide. I am fascinated and enthralled and also crying with terror.