Today, in my last post about the Maldives, I would like to tell you about ray feeding in the Maldives, more specifically at Reethi Beach.
A feeding place that the stingrays remember
The ray feeding takes place twice a day, at 6am and 6pm. Very easy to remember, isn't it;). Feeding in the morning was out of the question for us on holiday, so there was still the evening. Before dinner, we quickly went to the feeding. The feeding always takes place at the same place, near the Watersports Centre. The place for the feeding is right next to the jetty. From above you have an even better view of the rays, which swim very close to the sand. The water here is very clear and shallow.
Before the feeding a few minutes before, the first visitors gather here and secure good places on the jetty;) For our second feeding, we remembered to come a little earlier so that we could take a few photos without other people but with the rays. The rays are often found here even during the day and with a bit of luck you can also see a few small reef sharks here. This is because the animals remember well the place where they were last fed. Many return here minutes before and swim up and down the spot looking for fish food. In fact, they are not "fish" in the sense that the rays are fed, but octopus and shellfish.
Very shy animals when it is not about eating
For the feeding itself, a barrier is set up directly in front of the water on the beach so that the guests do not come too close during the feeding. Most of them are on the jetty anyway. Then one of the hotel employees comes with a bucket full of small fish and feeds the rays. I'm impressed with how little scared he is. The manta rays we snorkeled with also very rarely attack people, but at least they are not poisonous. These rays here are already. When they are aggressive, their tail becomes very dangerous to humans. Okay, admittedly, there is no need to get angry while feeding. But can I think of rays ?! In any case, I did not expect how easy it would be to feed the rays. When feeding, the rays are actually "pushed" the food directly into their mouths. To be one of the lucky ones, they sit on his feet.
What I actually wouldn't have thought: When it's not about food, rays are very shy animals. I see a parallel between me and the rays haha. Also, if you don't provoke or anger them, they are neither aggressive nor aggressive. They only kick their tails when they sense danger. The poison sting is provided with a barb on this. Beach strollers should be particularly vigilant: they like to dig stingrays in the sand to catch their prey. So it's easy to miss the rays.
I think it's great that the stingrays live free and that feeding doesn't take place in a tank.
For feeding, the rays come to the beach from a depth of up to 30 to 40 meters. Because that's where their real living space is.
Sure, this is not the natural form of food intake. Nevertheless, feeding the animals does not harm them, it does not make them dependent.
Corals are animals too
What I learned during my stay in the Maldives: Corals are now part of the animal world. And that's right. The warm water current, which is spreading more and more, warms the sea temperature so much that the corals bleach more and more. The situation is particularly dramatic in the Maldives, where up to 90 percent of the corals have died. And I have to admit, that is noticeable when snorkeling. As much as the underwater world was beautiful, there were very few colored corals left. Some reefs regenerate after a while. But this is not always possible. Because only a few coral species can repopulate the dead coral skeletons.
I hope you enjoyed the post and learned something new about the Maldives and its marine life and wildlife. I always find such information very interesting and some of it sticks in my mind very strongly. Especially when you are there yourself. What do you say ? Have you ever been to the Maldives? How did you like it too? And have you ever seen a ray feeding? Feel free to write your feedback in the comments, I'm looking forward to it. Until next time!