CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) shared photos of a large group of Cownose Rays visited the SCDNR Marine Center in Charleston.
The rays, which are related to sharks, stopped by the Lowcountry during their migration from Florida to the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.
According to SCDNR, the rays migrate north every summer, “where they mate and give birth” to live pups.
SCDNR shark biologist Bryan Frazier said that the rays in Charleston are likely adolescent, non-mating rays, which is why they’re not making the whole journey.
The group will likely stay in Charleston for the summer, but swimmers can rest assured that the rays “tend to avoid humans [and are] rarely responsible for stings.”
Typically, the rays gather in large groups when they are feeding or waiting for the tides. They feed on things like oysters, clams, and small crustaceans.