Larger Than Life: Watch A Giant Manta Ray Get A Vet Check-Up

Medical care team at the Georgia Aquarium performing a wellness check on a giant manta ray.

It is interesting to watch a manta ray get a periodic wellness exam. The medical care team at the Georgia Aquarium makes the exam look like a walk in the park! The team begins by lowering a hammock-type stretcher into the tank where the huge manta ray is swimming.

A large hammock-like stretcher is used to allow medical teams to examine large marine animals.
Image from TikTok.

Blue, the ray, is trained to swim into the hammock when a small snack is dropped onto it. You can watch the entire wellness exam below. It is amazing how the manta ray stays calm during the procedure. The medical team works together to conduct the exam quickly and efficiently, decreasing Blue’s discomfort while ensuring thoroughness.

Giant manta rays are pretty docile, considering they are one of the largest fish species. They are very social, swimming together in groups. When scuba divers are near, rays may swim right up them in the open ocean. When dive guides frequent the same area, the manta rays can recognize them (and they do have favorite guides!). Rays are very intelligent, which made it easier for the Georgia Aquarium team to train Blue to swim into the net.

Blue, the manta ray, is trained to swim into the stretcher-hammock.
Image from TikTok.

Once in the net, the medical care team goes to work. The veterinary staff climbs onto a small rubber raft with their equipment to join the care team on the stretcher.

The Wellness Exam On The Giant Manta Ray Begins

The team takes blood samples to ensure Blue is healthy. Once the small boat is near the stretcher, the team takes an ultrasound. The ultrasound checks the condition of internal organs and allows insight into Blue’s nutritional health status.

Image shows a giant manta ray in a stretcher with a medical care team giving it an examination.
Image from TikTok.

You can see the size of the giant manta ray in the above image. The team measures Blue’s wingspan and the distance from his head to his tail. During this examination, Blue’s wingspan was about 13 feet, and his body length was about nine and a half feet. Giant manta rays can have a wingspan of around 20 feet for the largest ones. Blue has some growing room.

Once the exam is complete, the team ensures that Blue is okay. They lower the stretcher, allowing Blue to swim off. Although there were some big splashes during the dismount, no technicians were harmed. We hope you enjoyed learning about how a wellness exam is performed on a giant manta ray. Please help us continue to bring you great content by sharing this.

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