I'm appalled (yet again) to see our local press reporting 'Stingray Attacks'.
I don't often get on my 'soapbox' particularly as I was reminded by a friend this week that they can be slippery things... But I feel compelled to proffer the other side of the argument for these most maligned and misunderstood 'cats of the sea' (and I know I risk having Gareth Morgan on my case using that description).
These docile creatures have been living in the Bay at Kawau for years and pass the steps in front of our house three or four times a day on the falling and rising tide. They are quite spectacular to see in the water - even if the old Retriever does get excited and bark at them!
Locals know that all you have to do when swimming is splash the water and any rays in the vicinity will immediately exit stage left. A stingray's natural reaction when threatened is to swim away. To suggest that these beautiful creatures are waiting to 'hunt' and 'attack' humans is tantamount to scaremongering and sensationalization to sell tomorrow's fish and chip wrappers.
Take a moment to learn something about this defamed species and remember, we're stepping into their environment - it's not the other way around.
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Romance from Toni Kenyon - a fresh look at the world