Gas bubble disease was cause of death for stingrays at ZooTampa

‘Stingray Bay’ won't reopen either.

ZooTampa's Stingray Bay will not reopen after an investigation concluded that 12 stingrays died from gas embolisms late last month. - ZOOTAMPA
ZooTampa's Stingray Bay will not reopen after an investigation concluded that 12 stingrays died from gas embolisms late last month.

Gas bubble disease was the cause of death for the 12 stingrays who mysteriously died at ZooTampa late last month.

After initially thinking the investigation would take up to eight weeks, Dr. Larry Killmar, Chief Zoological Officer at ZooTampa, told WFTS that investigators who looked at lab and pathology tests concluded that “a supersaturation event took place, likely in the overnight hours, causing gas embolisms (gas bubble disease) in the rays.”

The zoo—which added that Stingray Bay will not reopen—said the gas embolisms are similar to what happens to scuba divers who get “the bends,” which is caused by bubbles in the bloodstream, adding that the cause of the supersaturation is unknown.

The TV station added that possible causes could have been a system malfunction or a crack in portions of the pipeline which was not readily accessible.

ZooTampa still has not named the German lab where samples were sent.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]