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Would you still go to StingRay City (with all due respect and condolences to family of Croc. Hunter)

Would you still go to StingRay City (with all due respect and condolences to family of Croc. Hunter)

Sep 6th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,085
I think Cher has hit the nail on the head with Stingray City. If you can do the excursion on your own at a different time from the other cruise-ship passengers (perhaps later in the afternoon), then I think it's a very worthwhile experience. It's fun and, in my opinion, as safe as any excursion you can do (many more people die in diving accidents every year than have ever died of a sting from a stingray). What's not fun is the huge crowds of cruise-ship passengers all packed onto a single boat. Your daughter can always opt not to get in the water if her fears are too much (it's really something just to watch them glide around the boat).
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Gail: If your daughter is okay with staying on the boat and the rest of you guys really want to do the excursion, then do it that way.
We went on a non-cruiseship day and avoided the crowd which I'm sure made the experience much more enjoyable. Since you'll be coming with a cruise, that's something you won't be able to avoid.
I ended up staying on the boat with our 4-year-old son because the water was rough and cold that day (he didn't want to go in because of that).
Would I do it again? Hmmmm... I think I myself would but I honestly don't think that I would put my 4-year-old son in there after what happened to Irwin. I know those stingrays are used to people and blablabla but he's my babeeeee ...

I'm sure that the whole Stingray City type of thing has some effect on those animals. How could it not? Are zoos and aquariums acceptable? I think not, but a lot of people seem to think they are. It's all about personal view point, isn't it?

ejcrowe: Here's an article for you.
caribtraveler is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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Here's the first part of that article:
caribtraveler is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Even if your coming on a cruise ship, book your own trip with one of the local excursions that has only a small number of people on the trip. It would be well worth it for a much more enjoyable and memorable experience.
Cher is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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caribtraveler, thank you very much for posting those two links. I wish there had been more info from the student's dissertation, but it's enough to confirm for me what I was thinking before. You're right about personal viewpoint--I have ambivalent feelings which have shifted over the years about zoos and aquariums (aquaria?). When they're done well, I think perhaps they render more good than harm, especially for endangered species. But how many are truly done well? Maybe 5 in the entire US? Maybe fewer than that? I dunno.
ejcrowe is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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Many animals in Zoos, have animals that are born, bred & raised in captivity. They simply could not survive in the wild in many cases. No I don't have exact numbers & such, but I tend to support places like the Carolina Raptor Center (for example) that takes injured birds & returns them to the wild in lieu of blatant commercial exploitation. The San Diego Zoo & Columbus Zoo both due a great job in helping w/animal conservation & the like, much like Steve Irwin did. So, although Zoos are not ideal, in many cases it may be the best alternative for some animals & species (which would otherwise be extinct (thanks to us). I am now stepping off my soap box. I relate "Stingray City" to other similar travesties such as swimming w/the dolphins. Nice article.
SAnParis is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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ejcrowe: I get what you're saying about the zoos/aquariums...I also think the good ones are in the minority, but unfortunately most of the animals there are not endangered.
Speaking of Irwin and feeding wild animals and that having an effect on them... when we did the Black River Tour in Jamaica, our boat captain told us that they sometimes feed the crocs. They don't always do that because they don't want the crocs to completely lose their hunting skills. However, it still has had an effect as they're not that aggressive. See this picture?
The croc never snapped at Cornell, the boat captain. Cornell told us that Steve Irwin said he'd never shoot there because the crocs were not aggressive (not good TV I guess). Cornell also said that they had a National Geographic crew who came to shoot the crocs. That crew had been all over the world and said the Black River crocs were the laziest crocs they had ever seen. We all laughed at that, but when you think about it, it really wasn't that funny.
caribtraveler is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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OK Fodorites, I am going to reluctantly admit that I am a huge wimp about sea creatures. This ruined it for me. I realize that the GC scenario is much different than Australia, but Irwin was only in 6 feet of water when he was killed. Talk about one's number being up! My DH and I started watching Crocodile Hunter in the late 90's when it was just a fledgeling show. We were the early on fans. We were really shocked and saddened to hear that he had died. May he RIP.
brenandg is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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I'd not describe you as a "wimp". In your daily work, you face more than many of us can imagine.

We all have challenges and fears...some become lifelong issues.

But I think we should be gentle with ourselves and concentrate on the postive gifts we have to offer.

My original message to Gail was to respect her daughter's fears. Maybe it would be helpful to Gail's daughter to know that there are lots of *grown-ups* who still have some fears and we are not wimps

I'm not sure this made any sense...but sometimes even adults have communication issues ;-)


MarionCK is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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I doubt the sting rays have heard about the incident!

There is no more danger now than there was last week at this time.
beachies7500 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Back to gail's question .

Would I do it? proably not, poor stingrays - it doesn't seem much of a life to me.

If DD wnted to visit I wouldn't belittle her choice but I wouldn't join her
alya is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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I had a feeling that the tragic death of Steve Irwin would raise concerns about SRC.

We went to Grand Cayman and did a Stingray City tour with Captain Marvin's on a Friday.

We did the 3 stop snorkeling tour to Coral Gardens,Barrier Reef and finally Stingray City.We have 3 boys ages 11,9 and 3 and all 3 of them really enjoyed the Stingrays.My 3 yr old was a little leary but my husband held him and he was fine.We also got a DVD of the trip.

All I can tell you is that it was the highlight of our trip.The Stingrays are visited dozens of times a day and know why people are there..(to feed them and pet them)so they do not feel threatened and seemed very friendly..almost like a pet.

If your daughter feels a little scared she could always stay in the boat and watch.

Call around and find a company that takes a few people and not a large crowd.
We only had about 15 people on our trip there.

I believe that it was an Eagle Ray that killed Steve..and the ones at Stingray City are the Southern Rays..(not sure if that makes a difference to you)

Good luck and have fun!

BTW..My prayers go out to Steve's family and friends.

christiegr is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 04:30 AM
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I saw a show on the Science Channel about Stingrays after we went to Stingray City..that talked about the same issue in the first article that you posted.I was thinking in the back of my mind..what would happen if the Stingrays that are tame and are used to being fed, if feeding was banned?

The second article that you posted hit the nail on the head.

It is a great experience if we just learn HOW to interact and snorkel with them in a HEALTHY way in the future.

In the show that I saw it also stated that it was not good for them to pick them up.So maybe they should change the rules at Stingray City.


christiegr is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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cristie is right on.... Went on excursion with me and my 2 boys (3 and 8) with Capt. Marvin's. Pls people... Avoid the cruise ship rip-off. Book online as an independant. Marvin had 20 people on his boat at the most. Some great snorkling and interaction with the rays. Highly recommended and a can't miss while in Caymans... with no worries mate RIP Croc-man
HansHederman is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for all your responses - have read them all and did not get back to thread until today since I was away. Will wait a while and discuss again with dtr - things change quickly at 16.
gail is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Oh, Christiegr, say it isn't so! Not an eagle ray, my personal totem animal. That would make me even sadder. I think you made an excellent point that the stingrays at SRC are fairly "tame." We used to feed squirrels in a park that would come right up to people and sit up on their haunches waiting, like dogs. They'd take food right from your hand because that's what they're used to. Many aquariums have exhibits where there's stingray petting. The ray that killed Irwin was in the wild and not accustomed to being chased around by humans. Also, it's such a freak incident, it could have completely missed or it could have left a scratch. I can picture it if it had missed him "Crikey! Was that one close! These big sheilas can pack quite a wallop with those razor sharp tails!" Just such a "freak" circumstance. Stingrays are such nonaggressive animals. I've been swimming with stingrays for years, and the first rule is always, don't touch, stay clear of the tail.
Gail: Whether you choose to do the SRC thing or not, please reassure your daughter not to worry about stingrays. They are as a rule, nonaggressive. Irwin and his photographer were the ones chasing the stingray. IMO the last thing Irwin would want is for people to fear or dislike stingrays.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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I'm no stingray expert, but I saw on TV that it was a Bullray that led to his demise. I'm sure Stingray City is quite safe, just not sure it is something I would want to do.
brenandg is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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I LOVED Stingray City... probably one of the best tours I've experienced. I would have absolutely no hesitation doing it all over again (inspite of what happened to Steve Irwin).
VegasM is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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Hi Gail,
My husband and I "swam with the rays" at SRC. It was an exciting experience although I chose not to feed them. If you feed them, guarantee you will have more contact with them. I just swam around those that were feeding because I am not a strong swimmer and had heard about the "hicky" you can get if a ray gets excited and grabs your arm and not the food. Feeding them was not for me, but it was otherwise very exciting to see these beautiful sea creatures! I can only just imagine how exhilerating Steve Irwin must have felt each time he encountered these wonderful creatures! He was once of a kind and LOVED what he did. As to your daughter, best to let her decide. Make your plans to go to STR and let her decide, if at the last moment whether or not to get in the water with the rays. She can at least enjoy the day and sun while sailing. Like other suggestions, chose a captain that limits the number of people on his catamaran. Have fun!
Kissy is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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I must have been wrong about it being an Eagle Ray that killed Steve.

I don't know that much about the different species of Rays but the one I saw on TV LOOKED like an Eagle Ray.

Brenda is a Bull Ray shaped like an Eagle Ray but a different color?


christiegr is offline  

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