Thirty one-month-0ld moon jellyfish arrived at the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium this week! Hatched at the New England Aquarium, these two-inch-diameter moon jellies joined 13 adult jellies in the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium.
Because moon jellies have an average life span of six months in the wild and one year in captivity, the introduction of new moon jellies is a yearly event at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. The babies will mature quickly and should have a bell size of six to eight inches when the zoo opens on April 26.
Zoo keepers transitioned the babies into their new aquarium slowly. A large bag containing the new moon jellies was placed inside the aquarium but was not opened right away, allowing water temperatures to equalize. Little by little, zoo keepers allowed small amounts of water from the bag and the aquarium to mix together. Click on the video for behind-the-scenes footage of the acclimation process:
Moon jellies are not endangered and are a favorite food of several endangered sea turtle species. However, balloons and plastic grocery bags closely resemble jellyfish when floating in the ocean. If sea turtles ingest the balloons and bags, they can die. You can help sea turtles by recycling plastic grocery bags and avoiding mass balloon releases.
Zoo babies are sponsored by Lutheran Children’s Hospital.