A pregnant spotted eagle ray stole the show by jumping into a boat and giving birth last Friday during the 2022 Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
April Jones and family were fishing off Dauphin Island in Alabama for the event, but Mrs. Jones was having no luck, and decided to find a different spot.
Mrs. Jones explained to Fox News that “We packed everything up — and as we were pulling away, there was a hard hit and a water splash. I felt something hit me, and then I see this big blob flopping around in the back of the boat.”
The 400-pound ray weighed down the boat, causing the craft to take on water. The Jones’ were unable to move the ray back into the water.
The Jones’ then decided to go back to shore. Mrs. Jones elaborated, telling Fox News that they “just wanted to make sure she was kept alive, so we were dumping water on her and it was about a 15- or 20-minute boat ride back to shore.”
Mrs. Jones ran to get help from a sea lab on Dauphin Island, only to discover something astonishing upon returning to the boat. The ray had given birth in the commotion.
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Sudden birth is a common survival strategy in high-risk situations for many species. The baby rays were not alive by the time lab staff came to help. They were kept as specimens to exhibit to children as part of educational programs at the sea lab.
The mother ray, having survived, was released into the ocean.