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ZooTampa hires experts, sends samples overseas as it investigates sudden stingray deaths

Workers at ZooTampa said they were deeply saddened by last month's shocking discovery.

TAMPA, Fla. — ZooTampa continues to work toward figuring out what killed a dozen rays last month at the zoo’s popular Stingray Bay.

The zoo said it was sending tissue and water samples to various labs for testing. One lab on the list is in Germany and is considered "the gold standard in the water testing." according to the zoo. 

In a statement, the zoo explained it was bringing in two experts who "have extensive aquatic experience in the zoo and aquarium industry."

Workers at ZooTampa said they were deeply saddened by last month's sudden and shocking discovery.

The 12 dead rays included seven cownose, four southern and one Atlantic stingray.

So far, the cause of their death is still a mystery.

At the time, animal care and medical teams checked equipment and tested the water quality, but temperature, oxygen and pH levels all seemed to be normal.

Stingray Bay is a closed ecosystem, home only to the rays. So, the zoo says no other marine life was affected. 

The zoo said it could take several weeks to get results back from labs to which it shipped the samples.

RELATED: 12 stingrays die suddenly in ZooTampa exhibit; habitat to be closed for at least 8 weeks

RELATED: Florida Aquarium welcomes three stingray pups

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