You Can Swim Safely At Stingray City
In the Cayman Islands there is one attraction that many tourists flocked to, Stingray City. Since the crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, died from a poisonous barb while diving at the Great Barrier Reef, tourism to the Stingray City has significantly dropped.
The popular site was noticed about fifteen years ago. Many fishermen would guide their boats over the reef to the calmer and shallower waters to clean their catch. A little later they notice that the stingrays, scavengers by nature, would hang around the boats to get a free lunch. As this information got around a very brave dive master got into the water to hand feed them and Stingray City was born. Now those stingrays are very tame.
Stingrays are often feared due to the sharp barbs in their tails and the poison they contain, but the stingrays at Stingray City are not aggressive and they would not attack unless it is in self defense. If humans approach them in a peaceful manner they will not attack.
Stingray City has an excellent safety record and the Department of Environment intends to keep it that way. They have drafted a set of restrictions for the North Sound area where Stingray City is located. They are restricting the number of tourists in the water and the number of boats carrying paying passengers to the site. Lifting a ray out of the water and is strictly forbidden. Boats are not allowed to anchor over the reef. Nothing other than squid or fish may be fed to the rays.
Tour operators are responsible for not leaving any excess food at the site. Each boat must have laminated sheets available for passengers to read about the Stingrays Biology. Anyone who participates in the feeding program must be made aware of the potential dangers of feeding the rays. Anyone that breaks these restrictions will be fined ,000.00 and his license will be revoked.
The thing that is not widely known is that the ray that killed Steve Irwin was a bull ray. Bull rays can be found only in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This a much more aggressive ray than the ones found at Stingray City. The rays at Stingray City are non aggressive and will allow interaction with humans in their territory.
Be sensible when you are visiting Stingray city. Don't chase the rays or pull on their tails. When feeding them put the squid or shrimp on the back of your fisted hand. Always let the stingrays come to you. If you have food they will. And don't be afraid if they gently bump with their snouts, they are looking for food. You do not have to be a good swimmer as the water where the rays congregate is only waist deep if you are an average sized adult.
If you are still not convinced that it is safe to swim and feed the stingrays, opt for a glass bottom boat tour. You will be able to see these magnificent creatures of the sea in action.
Although some people will now not go to this unique attraction because of Irwin's death you truly do not need to fear the Rays at Stingray City. It is one of the most enjoyable attractions that you will see in the Caribbean.
Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.
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About the Author: Mary Hanna has traveled the world by Air and Ship while writing eBooks, Software Reviews and Practical Articles on Internet Marketing, Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at: http://www.CruiseGold.com http://www.CruiseTravelDirectory.com and http://www.CruisingTips.com