Rare Batray sighted in Lake Merritt
This weekend, a rare creature found in the San Francisco Bay mysteriously appeared in Oakland’s Lake Merritt, a freshwater body connected to the Bay via a channel. Although a grate is in place to prevent large debris from entering the channel, the creature managed to bypass it, raising questions about the effectiveness of the barrier.
The creature in question was a batray which is not typically found in Lake Merritt. The footage below was captured by a Reddit user, who mistakenly took it for a stingray. Here, one user claimed: “Lake Merritt is actually a very thriving ecosystem. It’s home to many different species and is well-inviting as it stems off from the bay. You can even find sturgeon and leopard sharks in the lake.”
Batrays are similar (but different) to stingrays and are usually found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They can reach up to three feet in diameter and are known for their distinctive bat-like wings. Typically, they are not aggressive and typically avoid contact with humans. However, like stingrays, these do have the venomous barb, so they are best avoided.
In the United States, batrays are most commonly found in coastal waters off the Gulf Coast and Florida, but they can also be found in California and the Pacific Northwest. They are not considered a threat to humans and are not considered endangered or at risk of extinction.