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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Flying Stingrays?

It seems to be a wierd time for Stingray attacks, which are almost totally unheard of.

This week we had another incident, involving a chest wound, when an Eagle Ray jumped into a boat.

The Florida Aquarium's Eric Hovland offers guidance to Tampa's Channel 10:

Expert says stingrays jumping, "not uncommon"
By: Preston Rudie of Tampa Bay's 10

St. Petersburg, Florida - A Florida man is in the hospital following
what officials call a 'freak accident.'

James Bertakis was heading home after fishing on the Intracoastal in
Southeast Florida this week when a stingray jumped into his boat. When Bertakis
tried to get the ray out of his boat, the 81-year-old was struck by the animal's
barb. Officials responding to the situation called it a 'freak accident.'

However, local experts say rays frequently jump out of the water. One
reason, is to escape predators.

Eric Hovland, of The Florida Aquarium: "Escaping a predator, certainly
if you are chasing a prey, suddenly it is out of your view and it
lands at some other point, it can throw off your predator very quickly."

Hovland says eagle rays can jump as high as 15 feet into the air. He
adds: while the act my surprise humans, he says again "it's not uncommon".

Eric Hovland, of The Florida Aquarium said: "They (rays) are almost in
flight under the water as it is, so breaking the surface isn't that great a feet
for them." Hovland stresses rays do not jump in order to attack, and he
says other fish, such as kingfish, sailfish and mullet are also know to jump
into the air.

Preston Rudie, Tampa Bay's 10 News

My suggestion! When a Ray Jumps in your boat, you jump in the water!

Dr. Tim


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