hero hope

After more than a year in residence at the world’s largest open-air marine habitat at Atlantis Paradise Island, Hope the manta ray was ready to return to her native Bahamian waters.

“When Hope came to us in July 2020, she was about 8 feet wide in wingspan. She almost doubled her size in 15 months, so she’s really done well here,” says Dave Wert, Aquarium Director at Atlantis Paradise Island. “We’ve placed a satellite tag on Hope to track the manta ray wherever she goes. We can tell the depth and temperature of the water and exactly where she’s travelled, so we get information that helps us to learn more about the biology and the life history of manta rays,” said Wert.

Atlantis is one of only two aquariums in the Western Hemisphere to care for giant mantas and has been studying and releasing manta rays for more than two decades. Hope is the 10th manta ray we’ve studied and released, and each time has contributed to better scientific understanding of the species.

Watch as Hope glides gracefully through the water as she is released to the open ocean to start her next great adventure.

Stay tuned as we track Hope’s journey and share our research with the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation,
a non-profit dedicated to protecting our ocean and its inhabitants.


Hope’s transfer required precise logistical plans, a team of experts and scientists, and elaborate equipment.


The first step was arranging a helicopter airlift transport with Florida Civil Aviation.


Engineers crafted a hand-woven net on a circular frame designed to hold Hope’s weight and fit her body.


Twenty marine experts and divers were needed to transfer Hope onto the net.


Hope gets a satellite tag, so our scientists can gather data on migration patterns, water depth and temperature.


The helicopter airlifts Hope, suspended by cables, for a 90-second trip to her destination.


Hope was safely lowered into her open ocean habitat.

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