Cuteness Alert – Baby Spotted Eagle Ray ‘Hilo’ Born at EPCOT

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The next time you visit EPCOT be sure to stop in at The Seas with Nemo and Friends to congratulate Darby, the famous spotted eagle ray that calls EPCOT home; she just gave birth to a baby spotted eagle ray, a boy. This special birth is a great reminder about the wonders that await at the Seas Pavilion at EPCOT.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

On the new original docuseries, “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” you can get to know the real life residents of Animal Kingdom, as well as The Seas with Nemo and Friends at EPCOT. I recently watched the second episode of the series – and got teary-eyed. A segment of the episode brings us to The Seas as Darby the spotted eagle ray is pregnant, as is one of the Cast Members who works with her. What moved me to tears was to witness the ultrasound being performed. Suddenly the well of emotions I felt when I saw my baby through an ultrasound for the first time came rushing back. I was also moved by the profoundness of witnessing a baby eagle ray through an ultrasound.

Flash forward a few months and that little baby spotted eagle ray has been born. The folks at The Seas named him Hilo, which is also the name of one of the largest cities on the island of Hawai’i and roughly translates to “to twist.” Currently, Hilo is getting acclimated to his home and is not in the main area that guests can easily view. When an animal is born at a zoological organization they are often kept in the behind-the-scenes care area as they get to know their home.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends – Darby Spotted Eagle Ray
The Seas with Nemo and Friends – Darby Spotted Eagle Ray

Darby, being a large spotted eagle ray, is easy to, well… spot. All the aquatic animals here are beautiful to watch and observe. But, there is something special about the graceful way rays move through the water. Darby, being one of the largest animals in the exhibit, is quite impressive. No matter your age, and the age of those in your party, you’re sure to learn something new or observe something wonderful when you visit this pavilion.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends – Darby Spotted Eagle Ray

If you’re interested in viewing the incredible exhibits at The Seas without having to go on the Nemo themed ride, you can enter the pavilion through the merchandise shop. Just go to the far left of the ride entrance, through the automatic doors, and after walking through the small merchandise shop, you’re there! The pavilion is a great place to go for a break and some air conditioning. There’s never a wait to just head inside through the merchandise shop and into the pavilion.

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Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

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