Shirley Ray was identified on August 21, 2010 at Manta Heaven. She was approximately 4 feet across and very shy. Martina was lucky to get a picture of her ventral side at Manta Heaven.
In May of 2011, she started to come around more but stayed on the outskirts of the manta experience. On June 28, 2011, she made her first “solo appearance”. That night Martina and divemaster Luke Mason noticed that she had some line with a leader hooked to her wing. Luke gently removed the line. Eventually, Shirley Ray decided that being close to the divers wasn’t all that scary.
In Luke’s words “She let me swim up to her though and remove a fishing line and buoy from her wing tip. Then at minute 45 she finally swam right over my head, realized it was quite pain-free and productive, and then just went berserk flying and somersaulting all over us. Yay Shirley, thank you and welcome.”