Manta Rays in Kona Hawaii

Teresa Ray, Jana Ray and Stats for January 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Teresa Ray:
This past month Teresa Ray joined the dinner party on several nights at Manta Village and Manta Heaven, and oh man, she is sooo big.
Thru our observations of pregnant Manta Rays esp. Big Bertha last year, we know that the female Manta Ray who is about to deliver, not only has a big belly, but their back also bulges out a lot. We created a short movie about Teresa Ray, when we saw her this past month (February 27). We are pretty confident when we see her the next time she will have a flat belly again and hopefully she gave birth to a healthy pup. We will keep you posted.

NEWS FLASH: March 11, 2012 (12 h after I posted this blog!): Teresa Ray is not pregnant anymore! YEAH. She came to Manta Heaven with a flat belly tonight and enjoyed a wonderful meal with 11 other ones. The pup was not seen, but this can change soon.

Jana Ray:
Jana Ray, our youngest “trained” Manta Ray at Manta Village recently came to the dive site with a deep cut in her cephalic fin. It must have happened between February 3 and 5, because she was fine on the 3rd. She is feeding okay, but it is obvious that she is in pain.

Jana Ray Injury 02-12Jana Ray Injury 02-12Jana Ray Injury 02-12
Jana Ray Injury 02-12Jana Ray Injury 02-12Jana Ray Injury 02-12

If that wasn’t enough, Jana Ray came to the site 9 days later (February 14) and she had caught more fishing line around her cephalic fin. Amanda Ault , one of our dedicated swim guides from Big Island Divers was there and here is her report:.

During the Manta Ray Dive at the Sheraton site this evening I noticed that Jana, one of our young female mantas, had some fishing line attached to her right cephalic fin. The monofilament line was hooked around the base of her fin and tangled in a small bundle along the underside of her body. It also had a small red/white fishing bobber attached to it which was trailing about a foot and a half behind her right wing.
After watching her circle under us for a while I felt compelled to try to remove at least the fishing bobber. I borrowed a dive knife from my captain and waited for a good moment to attempt the removal. Jana is a speedy little manta, so I was a bit nervous about the timing because I certainly didn't want to cause her any further harm with my efforts to help. After about 10 minutes, she settled in to a feeding circle about 3 feet under my float and it seemed like as good of a moment as ever to try for the line. I dove down, grabbing the bobber in one hand and cutting with the other. Thankfully the line cut easily and I didn't feel any tug when I pulled the bobber and some of the line away. There was still some line attached, so hopefully it will come free, or someone else will have a chance to remove it.
Cheers,  Amanda (Big Island Divers snorkel guide)

We can add to Amanda’s report that Jim saw Jana Ray several times since then and she doesn’t have anymore line on her. She seems to be adjusting and getting better every day. We will keep you posted on the healing process of her cephalic fin.

Statistics for January 2012:
We had mentioned in an earlier post that January 2012 was an awesome month for Manta sightings especially considering the ocean conditions were in our favor almost every night.

Here is a quick overview of the numbers we saw in January including the “travelers” that frequented both sites and the three Manta Rays we have seen the most:
(Check here to download the complete pdf-file).

Some comments about these statistics:

-    12 (!) Manta Rays (Big Bertha, Delaney, Kapono, Koie Ray, Lefty, Lightning, Margo, Melainah, Re-Nata, Reece, Teresa and Vallaray) were seen at both locations in January 2012 and they all changed sites within 24-96 h).
That’s incredible and also shows that those Manta Rays definitely know where the dinner table is set every night and are taking advantage of it.

-    The highest number of Manta Rays at Manta Heaven was 27 individual Manta Rays
The highest number of Mantas seen at Manta Village was 8, and this happened 4 times !

-    Koie Ray, Lightning, Margo, Melainah and Re-Nata were at Manta Heaven on January 8. Within 48 h they all made it to Manta Village, and Koie Ray and Lightning moved back north within 24 h. Impressive !

-    Lefty, Vicky Ray and Grayer are our TOP 3 for January 2012.
Grayer was seen 23x
Vicky Ray  24 x and
Lefty scored the TOP POSITION with 25 sightings of possible 31 nights.

TOP 15 Manta Rays for 2011
Our next blog post will reveal our Top 15 Manta Rays seen in 2011.
Can you guess who is in the TOP 15 ?
Let me know which Manta Ray you think has come to the Manta Ray Ballet the most last year?
Just leave a comment in the comment section or send us an email:   aloha@mantarayshawaii.com


With Aloha
Martina, Jim and Ryan