CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A seahorse that was rescued by a good Samaritan and brought to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium has given birth to a plethora of babies.
The male seahorse was found floating in the surf and a veterinarian confirmed the animal had “an over-inflated swim bladder and released the trapped air,” according to the aquarium.
A few days after, while under observation from veterinarians, the seahorse gave birth… in the hundreds!
CMA staff are monitoring both the father and his babies to make sure they are healthy, though the father continues to show his issues with buoyancy, which would impact his ability to survive in the wild and be listed as “non-releasable” by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
However, as the baby seahorses grow, they will become candidates for release.
The aquarium is currently also accepting nominations for the name of the father seahorse on their website.
A male seahorse will carry anywhere from five to 2,000 babies in its pouch, depending on the species of seahorse. The seahorse is also the only species on the planet where males give birth to their babies.
Due to the ongoing red tide bloom in the Tampa Bay area, releases for animals are under consideration.
CMA received national attention for rehabilitating seahorses named “Cheeto” and “Funyun” in previous years.