Giant manta ray swims near Sarasota police patrol boat
SARASOTA, Fla. - There has been another giant manta ray sighting in the Tampa Bay area.
The large manta ray was spotted by the Sarasota Police Department's marine unit over the weekend. The massive marine animal was seen swimming around the patrol boat just north of New Pass on the Gulf of Mexico side.
The agency shared video of the manta ray on Facebook.
"We sure serve and protect paradise," Sarasota police wrote in a social media post.
The giant manta ray is the largest ray in the world. This is at least the third sighting of a manta ray within the past month, although, it’s unclear whether it’s the same one.
In mid-April, a canoer captured drone video of a manta ray gliding along the surface of Tampa Bay near St. Petersburg.
READ: Large manta ray swims right up to paddleboarder off Indian Rocks Beach
Also in April, a paddleboarder was rolling on his camera when a manta ray swam incredibly close to him off Indian Rocks Beach.
According to NOAA, manta rays can reach a wingspan of 29 feet, and have been found worldwide, both in oceanic waters and within bays and intercoastal waterways.
Experts said they have been seen in waters with temperatures as low as 66.2 degrees and as high as 86 degrees.