Manta Ray Appears On San Francisco SidewalkSo, I'm walking back to work from lunch, and on the sidewalk of a very busy street in San Francisco (right at 4th and Market in the South of Market district) I see a huge Manta Ray on the sidewalk!
I was one of the first people at the site and a few police officers had just arrived on the scene. Everyone was just staring at the giant Manta Ray wondering how it ever got there.
The guy who called the police said that it actually flapped its way over to that part of the sidewalk from about 20 feet away, so it must have been alive when it was dropped there!
I wonder if this is some kind of protest against a company around there. Certainly got some attention as by the time I left there were 4 police cars and dozens of people gathered around it looking. Anyone have any ideas?
Oh and to add some morbid humor to this bizarre turn of events, one of the officers on the scene poured a half-empty water bottle on the poor creature... Maybe in hopes of magically reviving it...
I'm pasting the pictures I took below:
Your guess is as good as mine, but it was tragic to see a still-living animal surrounded by people who had no idea how to help it stave off a nearly imminent death. RIP little guy.
Spiking my curiosity, here's some information on Manta Rays: They are the largest of the marine Ray family, and can grow to be 25 feet across. They are filter feeders, and are extremely fond of humans-- often swimming alongside divers and surfacing near ships that have their engines off. They have the largest brain-to-body ratio of any shark or ray. They are hunted by sharks and rarely, orcas. They also like to breach the water-- but that's definitely not what happened here unless it could jump about half a mile (and land intact). Manta Rays did NOT kill Steve Irwin, the television personality-- sting rays did (a close cousin, with a barbed tail).
Here's some videos of the eerily beautiful creature swimming in its element
This amazing clip shows hundreds of manta rays jumping (as part of their mating ritual)