Stingrays coming to Davis County

Dec 14 2011 - 12:22pm

FARMINGTON -- Stingrays will be part of the 2012 Davis County Fair.

Not stingrays of the classic muscle car variety, but live wild swimming stingrays, like the ones out of a Disney sea life adventure film.

On Tuesday, the Davis County Commission approved a $4,400 agreement with Sealife Encounters of America out of Phoenix, Ariz.

The contract between the county and the traveling fish exhibit -- self-billed on its website as "America's first aquatic petting zoo," calls for the company to present six to eight live stingrays.

"People can pet them, touch them and interact with them," Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said.

The stingrays will be part of a daily fair exhibit, rather than involve a performance or a show, said Megan Hatch, Davis County Fair event coordinator.

Hatch said the stingrays will be displayed for educational purchases, with the intent of making it so people can touch or possibly even feed the rays.

The Davis County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 15 through Aug. 18 at the Legacy Events Center in west Farmington.

"It's a hands-on exhibit. You can walk right up to the tank, which is about 25 feet long," Sealife Encounters of America owner Joe Culver said in a phone interview with the Standard-Examiner.

Because the stingrays are in about eight inches of water the public is allowed to walk up to the tank and gently touch the animal on the back, Culver said.

"They are very docile, kind of like puppy dogs," he said.

The exhibit also includes signs with general information about stingrays, Culver said.

"It is a one-of-a-kind exhibit," Culver said of the display that gives the public the opportunity to see something they normally don't get the chance to see.

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