On Tuesday, the Two Oceans Aquarium’s resident ocean sunfish (Mola mola) was released back into the sea. Named Holy Moly, the sunfish was rescued by the Two Oceans Aquarium staff when they found her trapped in the nearby V&A Waterfront harbour.
Two Oceans Aquarium said the harbour had been particularly busy during the summer, and this young sunfish likely became disorientated. They observed the fish in the marina for a number of days and grew concerned that it was distressed and at risk of being injured by a boat.
After her rescue, the sunfish was a resident of the Predator Exhibit, a gentle giant among the sharks and giant rob that it came to coexist with.
This week, after regaining strength, the sunfish was released back into the ocean at a location near Robben Island.
Two Oceans Aquarium said in a post, “The ocean sunfish has recovered well since we rescued it in December. We cleared it of parasites and ensured that it was not dehydrated or suffering any other underlying ailment. We had since seen an increase in the sunfish’s appetite, and the energy and curiousity with which it explored the Predator Exhibit, and were confident that it was in good health. After careful consideration of Holy Moly’s behaviour, we decided that it was time for it to resume life back in the ocean. Even in the single month that the sunfish was at the Aquarium, it has grown significantly – well on its way to becoming a true giant of the ocean. We look forward to applying the lessons we have learned from Holy Moly to other sunfish that come into our care.”
Watch Holy Moly released back into the ocean.
Pictures: Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium