Based on significant number of scientific research, it has been proven how animals have positive influence on young children. Growing up with cats or dogs teaches kids responsibility and kindness. These youngsters learn from very early age that sharing is caring and are a bit more happy than those who don’t own a pet.
But one boy named Joel made a very special friend: a giant manta ray.
Joel enjoys spending time with the fishermen in Valle Gran Rey. In this village in the Canary Islands there is a harbor in which the local people throw bycatch and attract many different sea creatures.
Among all those unusual creatures there is a giant manta ray that gets to greet little Joel every single day.
Luckily, someone took notice of this uncommon friendship and put it on tape.
Joel and the other boy know how to attract their friend by putting their hands in the water, offering food.
The most unusual thing is that the manta ray recognizes Joel and lets him pet it on the nose.
It appears that the giant manta ray’s all time favorite food are the shrimps Joel feeds it with. Some kind fishermen who know of this relationship make sure they leave a box full of shrimps for Joel.
Once the giant creature is full, it gets another pet on its nose and head and then slowly disappears into the deep water.
Unlike stingrays, manta’s do not have a stinger, which means that they cannot kill people and have no way of harming humans.
The video of lovely Joel and his pal was seen more than 50 million times once it was posted on YouTube.
People were staggered by the sight and one even wrote: “My faith in humanity’s restored. These boys have good souls.”
Another commenter loved seeing how respectful Joel was with the manta ray. “This is really amazing. It’s also good to see that the boy knows to respect boundaries and doesn’t go too far (e.g. jumping in with the ray). The ray flapping back to the boy was so fantastic.”
We do see children bonding with animals all the time, but having a manta ray for a friend isn’t something we get to see every day. You really have to see it to believe it!
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Love and Peace