It was a rare eagle ray that jumped out of the water into the boat of April Jones and her family, writes the American on Facebook. The animal would have been more than one and a half meters wide and weighed about 180 kilograms, according to the fisherman’s family.
Jones was lightly hit by the ray as it jumped on board. According to her, it was ‘definitely a scary moment’, but she was also impressed by the ‘beautiful creature’. That might have accidentally jumped on dry land because it was bothered by another fish.
Jones, her husband and son tried to get the ray back into the water, but they couldn’t. To keep her alive, they kept pouring water on her continuously.
The female also turned out to be pregnant with four small rays, as it turned out after a while. Due to the stress of the situation, the boys were born prematurely, on board the boat. The four little ones did not survive. “We are devastated that the babies didn’t survive,” writes Jones, “but there was nothing we could do about it.”
Boat sank into water
The older eagle ray fared better, but it took her a while to get back into the water. The animal was quite heavy. Jones later told Fox News that the boat even sank a little into the water when the ray was on board. It took four people to lift her.
The Jones family’s boat was damaged in the remarkable incident, and the stingray had also broken a few fishing rods on board. Jones herself suffered from her shoulder afterwards, but did not sustain any serious injuries from the collision with the animal.
Give birth in danger
According to an Alabama Aquarium expert, it’s not uncommon for animals to give birth to their young in moments of stress. “That’s what happens when they think their life is in danger,” he says. “As a result, the animals have a greater chance of reproducing.”
In the case of the eagle ray, the young did not survive. The animals are taken to a laboratory for research, because they are a rare, endangered species.