One of the many concerns people traveling to beach areas have, particularly those with young children, is being stung by a stingray. They shouldn’t be something you fear during your visit, as there are plenty of practical ways to avoid an injury.
A common misconception about stingrays is that they are aggressive animals who attack people at will. The fact is that stingrays are passive creatures that are actually very lazy. A common behavior of stingrays is burrowing underneath the sand in shallow water, where they quietly relax while hiding from predators. They are normally rather calm, and if you visit Mote Marine Aquarium, stingrays will even swim up close to you and allow you to “pet” them.
While stingrays are non-confrontational, they do defend themselves whenever they are stepped on. This is something that’s rather easy to do, since they blend in with the bottom of the ocean and are therefore very difficult to see.
Since you never know where one might be hiding, an ideal way to avoid being stung by a stingray is to do what is known as the “stingray shuffle.” Upon entering the ocean, scoot your feet along the floor rather than walking normally. This will create a vibration that is likely to frighten stingrays away. Doing the stingray shuffle significantly reduces the odds of being stung.
Where and When to Find Stingrays
If you are to avoid being stung by a stingray, it can be helpful to know where and when you might encounter them. Stingrays are normally present in shallow waters that are within 12 feet of the shoreline. They may sometimes be seen swimming, using their flat bodies to follow the pattern of the waves. Stingrays are most often found between the months of April and October, which is when they enter warm, shallow waters in order to mate.
Actions if Stung
In the unlikely event that you are stung, seek medical attention immediately. Some people have an allergic reaction to stingray stings, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Please feel free to visit the front desk at Tropical Beach Resorts for assistance finding a local clinic that will treat you quickly so that you can continue enjoying your vacation.
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