Charlotte the stingray: Ultrasound released, drink created in her honor as fans await birth (2024)

Ahjané ForbesUSA TODAY

Fans of Charlotte the stingray are patiently waiting for her to give birth to her pups. The stingray has captured hearts all around the world since news of her mysterious pregnancy was announced.

The Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team ECCOin Hendersonville, North Carolina revealed back in February that Charlotte, its female stingray, was able to get pregnant without a male mate.

Charlotte is reportedly past her due date and was supposed to have given birth two weeks ago.

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Aquarium releases ultrasound of Charlotte's pregnancy

In an Instagram post on March 9, Team ECCO updated fans on Charlotte's pregnancy by posting Charlotte's ultrasound and answering questions.

"Charlotte is carrying one pup for sure, see the attached previously posted ultrasound clip," a Team ECCO employee explained in the post. "Charlotte's pregnancy is a unique situation. There is no set precedent on how long a parthenogenetic pregnancy is in this species. Charlotte is the first known documented California round stingray to do parthenogenesis in captivity."

Experts explain that stingrays have the ability to asexually reproduce, which is also known as a parthenogenetic pregnancy, when there is a lack of reproduction for that species.

"First, you should know thatparthenogenesisis asexual reproduction of an organism in which a female produces an embryo without a male present to fertilize the egg," wrote Dr. April Smith, executive director the North Carolina Science Trail in ablog post. "This means the offspring are, typically, all female, and this occurs in a situation where there are no males present (i.e., zoo/aquarium usually, or perhaps a secluded natural environment like the deep sea). It’s a survival mechanism that allows for the preservation of a species."

Team ECCO is planning on sharing data related to Charlotte's pregnancy to scientists around the world, the aquarium stated in the post.

Team ECCO builds a home for Charlotte and her bundles of joy

Team ECCO is preparing for Charlotte to give birth soon and the aquarium has already made a home for their arrival.

"The offspring will be separated into a nursery tank," the aquarium confirmed in the Instagram post. "This tank is set to the same environmental parameters as Charlotte's current home. The offspring will be separated to allow for careful observation by aquarium staff."

Team ECCO posted March 11 saying that going forward they will post Charlotte updates on their social media pages on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Social media reacts to Charlotte's overdue pregnancy

Fans that are closely following Team ECCO's updates on Charlotte are keeping their social media followers updated as well.

"Team ECCO has given us an update on Charlotte the stingray and we learned two things in yesterday's post. We learned that there's at least one baby stingray in there that they can see on the ultrasound, so that was very exciting and we learned that Charlotte the stingray can wave goodbye apparently," TikTok's thirsty mom said in a post on the social media app. "She's adorable, I enjoy every video they post of her. I am actually going to be up in the area near Hendersonville, North Carolina next week, so maybe just maybe, this crazy stingray will give birth while I’m there."

Other TikTok users share their frustrations with the overdue pregnancy.

"North Carolina I think we've all been gaslit. Did anybody else see the articles that were going around about a stingray was pregnant that either self reproduce, which is rare or impregnated by a shark that was also in its tank, now that's cool. So the articles all started and the posts all started 'Charlotte should be giving birth this week anytime now' that was like a month ago y'all," Samantha Gradle said in a post.

Another TikTok user thinks Charlotte already had her pups and the aquarium is hiding that from everyone.

"I think those shark pup Jesus rays are in a lab somewhere and they're studying them and they know some stuff and they will not tell us," Manny Buckley said in the post. "It's crazy we have every right to know what is going on with Charlotte. I know she had this baby she's not pregnant, she's not pregnant, there's no way. I demand to see those babies."

Charlotte inspires a latte creation at a North Carolina coffee shop

A local coffee shop in Hendersonville, North Carolina took a deep dive under the sea to create a drink in Charlotte's honor.

Mark Pavao, the owner of Black Bear Coffee Company, visited the pregnant stingray at the Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team ECCOover the weekend and that sparked an idea of a new menu item.

“I was at the aquarium with my parents, we were talking to the owner Brenda Ramer, and she was showing us Charlotte and we're all excited to see her.” Pavao told USA TODAY. “Everybody there was great, and we were kind of talking and the idea came up to do a latte to celebrate Charlotte. I thought that was a great idea.”

On Saturday March 9, Pavao and his team came up with a plan to create the Charlotte inspired latte called the Stingray Shuffle Latte. The latte, made with dulce de leche and coconut, are not random ingredients. Charlotte, a round stingray, is native to the southern California Baja area, so the flavors were chosen for that reason. By Sunday, the team mixed the latte to serve to their customers.

Black Bear Coffee Company plans to donate the proceeds that they’ve gained from the latte sales to Team ECCO to help support Charlotte, her pups, other sea creatures and the aquarium programs.

“We’re tracking all the sales on that specific latte and we we're going to let it go as long as it can. It’ll probably go through the summer or just after Charlotte has her babies and then we'll chat with Brenda. A portion of the proceeds are going to go help Brenda with everything that has to do with Charlotte.” Pavao said. “Anything that we can do to help them with the other animals inside of the aquarium and Brenda brings in a lot of young people from the community. She'll work with them all the way up through high school. She teaches them how to scuba dive, she brings them down to the Caribbean, she does a lot of work with different countries in the Caribbean and the kids will go down and learn marine biology in the Caribbean.”

Since launching the latte, Pavao said the drink has been a bringing in waves of customers searching for the new drink.

“It's done really well since we put it out there,” he said. “I think a lot of people are excited about the whole Charlotte thing and we are too!”

Pavao said that he is happy to see all the popularity Team ECCO and Charlotte is getting.

“If one of us does well, we all do well,” he said. “That's kind of how we all want it to be.”

Ahjané Forbes is a reporter on the National Trending Team at USA TODAY. Ahjané covers breaking news, car recalls, crime, health, lottery and public policy stories. Email her ataforbes@gannett.com. Follow her onInstagram,ThreadsandX @forbesfineest.

Charlotte the stingray: Ultrasound released, drink created in her honor as fans await birth (2024)

FAQs

Was Charlotte the stingray really pregnant? ›

The Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team ECCO in Hendersonville announced Charlotte's pregnancy in February and noted she does not share a tank with a male of her species. The aquarium estimated she could give birth to up to four pups within two weeks.

What happened with the stingray that was pregnant? ›

(WSPA) — Charlotte, the stingray who went viral earlier this year after becoming pregnant, despite not having shared a tank with a male of her species, has died.

Has Charlotte the stingray had an ultrasound? ›

ECCO staff reported they first saw signs of Charlotte's pregnancy in September 2023, and her pregnancy was confirmed in January 2024. The Team ECCO staff first noticed a bump on Charlotte in September and performed an ultrasound, worried that it could be a cyst.

Did the pregnant stingray in NC Aquarium have a baby? ›

What happened with Charlotte's pregnancy? In the June announcement, the Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO shared that Charlotte was no longer pregnant and had a reproductive disease that medical experts would review. “Charlotte is stable and continues to show no decrease in appetite or activity,” the statement read.

How did Charlotte get pregnant? ›

Scientists said Charlotte's pregnancy must be the result of parthenogenesis, a rare method of asexual reproduction in which a female can produce an embryo without fertilizing an egg with sperm, the Associated Press reported.

Did the stingray in Charlotte give birth yet? ›

Charlotte the stingray due date: Did Charlotte the stingray give birth yet? ECCO staff first saw signs of Charlotte's pregnancy in September 2023. She has not yet given birth as of May 17, 2024, meaning that her pregnancy has been significantly longer than many fans expected.

How old is Charlotte the stingray? ›

The aquarium estimated that Charlotte was approximately "12-14 years old," according to the Hendersonville Times-News.

How long does a stingray pregnancy last? ›

The average gestation is three to four months for stingrays, but there is no known data for the gestation period for a parthenogenetic pregnancy, according to Team ECCO's March 30 update on Instagram.

Is the female stingray pregnant without a male? ›

Stingray's virgin pregnancy may have a delightfully unusual scientific explanation. Scientists think the pregnancy of Charlotte, a stingray living in a tank without any male rays, is an example of parthenogenesis, a miracle of life more common than most people think.

Does Charlotte miscarry? ›

She had previously suffered a miscarriage before adopting Lily, she was so scared during her pregnancy, until she gave birth to a little girl named Rose. In SATC2 Charlotte seems to be a stay-at-home mom.

Did Charlotte have an ectopic pregnancy? ›

Crosby captioned the video: “A moment I wasn't sure would ever be mine is here, it's mine (and Jake's) and i couldn't be happier to be sharing it with you all…… I'm having a baby.” Her pregnancy comes after she was left with compromised fertility when she suffered an ectopic pregnancy in 2016.

Where does Charlotte the stingray live? ›

As excitement built over Charlotte the stingray, people hoping to see the animal lined up for admission to her home aquarium in Hendersonville, N.C. Finally, in late May, the aquarium announced that Charlotte was not pregnant but was instead suffering from a disease.

How does stingray give birth? ›

Did you know that stingrays give birth to live young and not eggs as most people expect of a fish? Stingrays, like our eagle ray below, are "ovoviviparous" - this means that the mother keeps the eggs inside her body after they hatch, feeding the pups fluids and egg yolks to help them grow.

Are stingray babies called? ›

Individuals in a litter of stingrays are called pups.

Can a shark get a stingray pregnant? ›

The Case of the Mysterious Stingray Pregnancy. Let's get this out the way: it's impossible for a shark to impregnate a stingray. But when a lone female stingray named Charlotte unexpectedly became pregnant, her keepers joked that one of her shark tank-mates could be responsible. Then, of course, the headlines followed.

How did the North Carolina stingray get pregnant? ›

According to the Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team ECCO in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Charlotte the stingray is continuing with parthenogenesis, or a form of asexual reproduction where she was able to fertilize an egg without a sperm.

Is Charlotte pregnant with Declan's baby? ›

After the events of Engagement Party, they both helped their respective brothers and broke up. Next summer they started dating again and Charlotte got pregnant, but Declan died shortly after discovering it and Charlotte lost her baby after finding out that her boyfriend was dead.

Has the pregnant stingray given birth? ›

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The stingray in western North Carolina who got pregnant under mysterious circ*mstances months ago still has not given birth. Charlotte the stingray lives at the Aquarium and Shark Lab in Hendersonville.

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