'Stingray'

Stingray

[Public Domain] 5 Apr 2006 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Species
4,367 others viewed this post.

As an Australian, and someone who loves the natural world, I was suprised to hear that Steve Irwin had been killed in an accident with a stingray whilst filming a documentary off Queensland. Irwin’s methods were sensational and dramatic, but such is the nature of entertainment. Whether the stringray was provoked is unclear, especially as the footage is presently not being considered for release.

What is surprising is that the stingray, hardly considered one of the oceans greater dangers to humans, was responsible for the death of someone so experienced with handling animals, albiet terrestrial ones.

In this photo you can see a guide casually touching the ray’s wings as many others also did, with care not to go anywhere near the tail / barb which is clearly shown as an impressively long extension from the animal’s rear. Serrations along the barb have been known to tear flesh, but stingray ‘attacks’ are almost unheard of, though some fatalities and injuries occur as the ray defends itself. In 1996, the number of known fatalities for stingray involved incidents totalled a mere 17.

After swimming with stingray’s in the Indian Ocean, I also had the pleasure of eating stingray meat at a restaraunt in Singapore. They hardly deserve a reputation as a dangerous animal, and I can assure you they are well below Homo sapien on the food chain.

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