Southern Stingrays do not go out of their way to harm humans, but when they feel threatened, they will defend themselves. Almost all Southern Stingray attacks on humans occur when someone wading in shallow waters accidently steps on them. These stingrays hide under the sand and can be difficult to see. The stingray will then defend itself by driving its stinger in the person’s leg or foot. Even though the wound is incredibly painful, it rarely causes death.
If you have been stung by a stingray, get to a doctor ASAP. In the mean time, the wound should be rinsed with hot water to help break down the poison and wash away the sand. This will also relieve some of the pain. X-rays may be taken at the hospital to make sure there aren’t any remaining barbs that could cause secondary infection.
When you are wading in shallow waters where southern stingrays may be hiding, shuffle your feet in the sand. This will lower the risk of stepping on a stingray, and this will warn them that you are there.
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