When fishing on the open waters, it’s always a surprise as to what you might catch. An Alabama family was in for a rare treat when an eagle ray jumped into their boat. This wasn’t a small fellow either, weighing in at 400 pounds.
April Jones and her family were participating in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo when the giant stingray jumped on board their boat. The animal hit Jones in the shoulder and crushed fishing poles on its way in. Jones required a trip to the emergency room.
The 5-foot-long rat was also carrying a litter of pups with her, making the situation a bit scary. Most animals will do anything to protect their young.
The family from Saraland brought their boat to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. They were able to assist in releasing the animal back into the water. Unfortunately, the pups did not survive and were given to the lab for further study where officials told the Jones family that this was a one-in-a-million chance encounter.
Apparently, eagle ray sightings are rare in the Dauphin Island area. “We have an extraordinary diversity of fishes here in the north-central Gulf of Mexico and it’s a rare and exciting opportunity,” Marcus Drymon with Mississippi State University, said.