Florida residents are used to seeing alligators using crosswalks. But how about a fever of rays using a boat channel? That’s what Fox 13 News in Tampa spotted on July 3: A large group of rays swimming through the channel under the Gandy Bridge.
It’s just another Monday morning commute in Tampa. Several species of ray live in the bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and many won’t hesitate to strike with their sharp barb if you happen to step on them in the sand. As many residents know, it’s best to drag your feet along the bottom of the beach — the so-called stingray shuffle — to avoid stepping directly on them.
The rays spotted by SkyFOX are most likely cownose rays, which often swim together in groups of hundreds or even thousands — a formation known as a fever.
Fortunately for any Independence Day beachgoers, this particular fever was way out in the middle of Tampa Bay, several miles from any swimmable beach.