Kristin Vukovic

Friendly Maldivian Stingrays

December 22nd, 2009

Kristin Sting Ray


Our last two honeymoon days in the Maldives (sniff)–well spent at the Taj Vivanta, a small island measuring 9.2 acres, approximately 1 hour north of Male, the capital, by speedboat. Zia, the Stingray Man, originally from Bangladesh, showed us how to feed the stingrays, which assemble at 5pm every day for their daily feeding. Zia has been feeding the wild stingrays for over 8 years, and learned the trade from his brother’s friend, who fed the stingrays for 7 years prior. Even with choppy waters, the stingrays were friendly, allowing us to pet them as they drifted in with the waves, sucking in filets of fish (the mouths of stingrays have tiny teeth underbelly, but don’t bite, at least not these friendly stingrays). Sometimes the cousins of stingrays (sharks) show up for the feeding frenzy, but they’re usually small reef sharks, a.k.a. nurse sharks. Petting the stingrays was an unbelievable experience–feeding them was even more exhilarating, as I actually felt their mouthes grab the pieces of raw fish in my hands. l will be slightly sad to return to Delhi’s chaos and pollution, but many exciting adventures await: our friends’ wedding reception, my Mendhi party, and of course, our Sikh wedding at Vasant Vihar gurdwara on the 27th of December.

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