This Week in Lembongan… It was all cheers as we gathered with all the staff and guests for a celebratory dinner. But the biggest birthday present came from the manta rays at Manta Point, where we were far from disappointed!Mantas everywhere, one guest counted as many as 11 Mantas at once. Some were very obviously pregnant, so we will be looking out for youngsters soon. Mantas give birth after about 12 months of pregnancy. Usually it is just one pup, very seldom do they give birth to two. After being born the baby swims off one way and the mother another way, there is no parental care at all. Which is probably also not really necessary since the pups are about 1.5 meters in diameter when they are born. Manta rays don’t have many natural predators that they would have to fear.
How do we know about the Manta birth? Unfortunately it has never been recorded in the wild. Everything we know about it, is from one female manta living in an aquarium in Japan. She gave birth for the first time in 2007 and there have been a few more since then. Everybody wonders where they give birth in the wild; do they go very deep, far from shore or close to an island? So many things that are not known. We do know that they probably give birth somewhere in the area, since we see many pregnant Mantas and then many newly born.
This week we also welcome Jackie from England, who will be our new PADI instructor. She is now getting to know Two Fish Lembongan and all the dive sites around our island. So keep an eye out for her posts on Facebook.