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Tourist-fed stingrays change their behavior dramatically

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | March 19, 2013

Tourist-fed stingrays change their behavior dramatically

The researchers discovered that Stingray City’s stingrays demonstrate noticeably different patterns of activity than their wild counterparts.

Researchers from Nova Southeastern University have discovered that “interactive ecotourism” changes the behavior of stingrays. They studied stingrays residing in one of the world’s most frequented ecotourism sites – Stingray City/Sandbar in the Cayman Islands.

According to a news release from Nova Southeastern University, Stingray City attracts approximately a million visitors annually to feed, pet and swim with the sandbar’s stingrays. Researchers set out to determine exactly how interactive ecotourism has impacted the animals’ behavior.

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