Daydream Island Resort and Spa has named the newest additions to its Living Reef – a set of brother and sister leopard rays – Hansel and Gretel.
The animals are the first leopard rays to inhabit the Living Reef, one of the world’s largest man-made living lagoons.
The rays were christened after the famous brother and sister fairytale characters after Daydream recently ran a naming competition through its Facebook page.
“Leopard rays are endangered and they are the first to inhabit our Living Reef lagoon, making them an exciting new addition to our ever-growing number of fish, rays, sharks and coral,” Daydream Living Reef Manager James Astley said.
“They are brother and sister to our knowledge, were caught in the wild together and are less than a year old.
“Like their namesake, the animals sport a striking leopard-like marking over their entire upper surface which have made them a very popular attraction with our visitors.”
The leopard ray is widespread in the Indo-Pacific region. Bottom-dwelling in nature, the animals are found close inshore over soft-bottomed habitats. The young are born at 20cm wide and can grow up to reach a width of around 140cm and length of up to four metres.
Hansel and Gretel join more than 115 species of fish and 80 coral species native to the Great Barrier Reef which can be found in the Living Reef.
The 2,650sqm Living Reef is one of the world’s largest man-made living lagoons, holds more than 1.5 million litres of water and is also home other star attractions like female black tip reef sharks Cookie and Nibble, white spot mangrove rays Bill and Barb and black shovelnose ray, Jack.
Guided by Living Reef biologists, visitors can take part in fish and shark feeding shows or programs like the Stingray Splash, where guests walk knee-deep into the Living Reef and hand-feed and pat stingrays.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa is located in Queensland’s tropical Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, only a 30 minute boat ride from Hamilton Island and a 30 minute ferry ride from Airlie Beach.
The award-winning resort features 296 rooms and suites, a great selection of restaurants and bars, a fringing coral reef and a Rejuvenation Spa offering a comprehensive selection of health and beauty treatments.