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Thread: Swimming with Stingrays

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    Swimming with Stingrays

    I am wondering if any of the mers who do aquarium work have any advice on swimming / working with rays and small sharks?

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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Use common sense. Don't chase after the rays, they're wild animals and are unpredictable in nature.
    Formerly known as ireneho

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    Senior Member Pod of The South Slim's Avatar
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    Simply avoid them. Most aquatic animals are stress when people are swimming in their tanks.


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    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    definitely don't get too close.
    They can lash out when stressed, and if they hit you in an unlucky spot (like the heart), you can die.

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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania moomer's Avatar
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    That's exactly what happened to Steve Irwin. Stingray barb to the heart.

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    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Jaffa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomer View Post
    That's exactly what happened to Steve Irwin. Stingray barb to the heart.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    Yep. He went around poking the animals and aggravating them.
    Formerly known as ireneho

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    I'm more so looking for feedback from any mers who work for aquariums & work with these animals on a regular basis.
    I've been hired by an aquarium and will spend part of my time there in their snorkel training pool which also hosts their rays and small sharks...so curious to hear from mers who have experience with this

    But obviously being careful & respectful is important too.

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    I've caught sting rays while fishing when I lived in Florida. After the first one, I started doing a little research on them to learn how to avoid getting hurt by one. It seems that only the barb that is halfway down their tail is the only dangerous part and they only use it in self defense if something starts to hurt them, such as someone walking through salt water and accidentally stepping on it's fin, or a shark biting a chunk out of it. It mentioned that if you drag your feet as you walk when you are in salt water, then you won't step on it, but instead just bump it causing it to quickly swim away without swinging its barb at your feet.

    It goes on to talk about the opportunity to swim with sting rays at Disney island resorts. The staff there will trim the barbs to make them harmless. No this is not animal torture because the barb is similar to human finger nails. It will grow back and they just trim it again.

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