Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Sting Ray City

I, like about a gazillion others (and that's a pretty large number!) was so sad to hear that Steve Irwin A.K.A. "The Crocodile Hunter" was killed the other day. There has been an enormous amount of press about how he was gouged by a sting ray. I didn't even really know sting rays were so dangerous.

This is my picture that proves just that. When I was on vacation in Grand Caymen I did the day in Sting Ray City. You get to feed and swim with hundreds of sting rays in all sizes. They did freak me out a bit. But more along the lines of over-eager dogs. They surrounded us while we fed them. The water would become dark with shadows as they swarmed over to us.

The guides of the outing told us that if you kiss a sting ray it's good luck for something like 7 years. At the time I wanted nothing more than a miracle for my mom and so I was standing in line waiting to kiss the Sting Rays. It never occured to me that they were dangerous. Mom would've freaked out and not approved if she had known about the potential!

But of all the wild animals out there, a Sting Ray is what killed Steve Irwin? Whoa... It wouldn't have been so surprising if he had died from a crocodile bite because we were all sort of waiting for that to happen. Obviously, my Sting Ray experience was WAY different than Steve's- "My" Sting Rays had been around loads of people all of their lives. They didn't feel threatened in any way. They were just there for snacks and kisses. And photo ops.

The String Ray kiss wasn't so satisfying- He felt a little slimey, and my wish I made for Mom didn't come true. Had I known then what I know now about Sting Rays I really doubt I would've done the deed.

I've been to Sting Ray City. I've been up close and personal with a Sting Ray! I won't go back for more...

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