The well trained stingrays have had their barbs removed, humanely, by Dolphin Cove's in house marine veterinarian.
It is like cutting a finger nail and does not hurt the animal. In fact the Stingrays at Dolphin Cove do this behavior voluntarily, (meaning aside from a handler supporting the animal on the surface of the water, the stingray is not restrained).
By removing this barb, guests are now free to enjoy the wonder and beauty of these misunderstood creatures without fear of being harmed.
When beginning your stingray interaction, you are first placed on a floating platform and given some information about these amazing creatures. The highly trained handler will pass the stingray along the platform allowing all guests participating to feel how soft and smooth the skin of the stingray really is; truthfully it kind of feels like a giant mushroom!
The guests are then invited to enter the lagoon individually, as a couple or as a family, to hold the large stingray all on their own.
You will be amazed at how relaxed the stingrays are as you hold and pet these beautiful creatures.
After your alone time with your new found friend. The handler then fits you with a mask, snorkel and snorkeling vest and allows you to snorkel freely in the stingray lagoon.
You will see these creatures in a whole new light as you watch them gliding gracefully and peacefully by you.
...but the stingrays are not alone! Their natural lagoon is home to a variety of sea creatures that come and go, lobsters, sea slugs, squid, octopus and a variety of colorful, tropical fish. You will, however, see very few conch as the stingrays find them DE-LI-CIOUS!
Trust me, you will have a new understanding and appreciation for these fascinating creatures when your stingray encounter comes to an end.