Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Investigating a North Carolina aquarium that grabbed national attention by claiming a stingray had been miraculously impregnated

NBC in February, for example:
The surprise pregnancy of Charlotte, a stingray living in a tank without any male rays, has captivated people across the world and stirred a sudden interest in parthenogenesis, a scientific term that essentially means virgin birth. 
That’s when I was approached by a member of the Hendersonville police. Officer ... asked if I was a news reporter, then explained that they’d received a call that I was harassing people. I told her I’d only interviewed one couple who’d been eager to talk. [The officer] said I could carry on with my work, as long as I wasn’t harassing anyone, then she and a second officer walked into the aquarium. 

When they came back out, they told me that [the owner] wanted them to book me for “trespassing.” They weren’t going to charge me with anything, they said—I looked “sweet.” But if I went back into the aquarium, they would have no choice but to arrest me.