(Image: Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies)
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee houses several stingrays. A stingray pregnancy usually lasts a year, after which the mama gives birth to live young known as "pups."
The staff at the aquarium routinely performs sonograms on pregnant stingrays. They noticed that one pup was overdue to be born, but wasn't leaving his mother. So they performed a cesarean section surgery to remove him. WBIR reports (auto-start video):
She didn't give birth with the rest of the rays. They estimated that she was 6 to 8 weeks overdue, and that both lives in danger.
With an ultrasound, the staff determined that the baby was alive and well (and amazing video released by the aquarium shows the little sting ray swimming around in utero!)
They decided to perform a c-section to save both the baby and the mother, and the risky procedure was a success! They believe this is the first time that a cownose stingray has been successfuly delivered by c-section.
Both mother and baby are alive and well. They're now swimming around the stingray tank without complications.