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Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter #253452
10/19/07 10:51 AM
10/19/07 10:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,448
Short Offline OP
Short  Offline OP
Caye Caulker’s Ras Creek Could Have Saved “Crocodile Hunter’s” Life

Caye Caulker, September 2006 - Last week internationally known celebrity cum naturalist Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin was killed by a stingray off the coast of Australia while filming one of his ‘living-dangerously-in-nature” specials. Irwin achieved international celebrity-dom from the television program “The Crocodile Hunter”, a popular wildlife documentary series co-hosted with his wife Terri Irwin.

On September 4th 2006 the Crocodile Hunter was fatally stabbed in the chest by a stingray spine while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, at Batt Reef, which is located off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. Irwin was in the area filming his self-produced documentary-video, to be called The Ocean's Deadliest.

According to reports in the press cited by his friend and colleague, John Stainton, Irwin swam too close to one of the stingrays. "He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb approximately 30 cm (10 inches) went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart" reported Stainton.

There is a seasoned veteran conversationalist and pioneer tour guide on Caye Caulker named Bert “Ras Creek” Nicholas who could have saved the Crocodile Hunter’s life. Ras Creek has developed a rapport with several stingrays in the nature preserve Shark-Ray Alley” over the 15 years since he first discovered that popular hangout for all forms of aquatic wildlife located adjacent to the reef about half-way between San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.

[Linked Image]
Ras Creek & tourist frolickig with sting ray

Ras Creek in an exclusive interview with the BELIZE TIMES at the Split where his Robinson Crusoe-seque vessel “Heritage Cruz” is docked, noted that normally stingrays are very wary of humans; they have a natural skittishness when interacting with divers. He observed that Irwin should have shown the ray more respect and not invaded the animal’s immediate territory. Rays are normally docile creatures that prefer fleeing rather than fighting but get very defensive when they feel cornered. Creek’s advice to the Crocodile Hunter would have been, “Don’t rush the brush, know the ray’s style and psyche before cavorting with them. And never approach one from behind”.

Ras Creek is a pioneer in marine tour guiding. He was heading up tours starting in 1991. He is a seminal figure in discovery and development the Hol Chan Marine Reserve better known as Shark-Ray Alley and the Sea Horse Ranch on the lee side of Caye Caulker into must-see tourist destinations. Those two naturalist spots have helped immeasurably in putting Belize on the tourist destination map. Hundreds of other tour guides have followed in his footsteps.

Ras Creek went on to explain that there are three stingrays at Shark Ray Alley that over the last decade he has altered their cautious attitude to one of camaraderie. He has named his three ray cohorts: ‘Sharktail’, ‘Soon-Come’ and ‘Baby Soon-Come’. All three are part of the “twisted spine” southern ray family that Ras refers to as Spotted Eagle Rays. Soon-Come is a huge ray with a eight foot wing span that has been caught on video by a National Geographic photographer nuzzling up to Ras Creek, affectionately putting its nose against his mask as a kind of cross species kiss.

[Linked Image]
Ras Creek hanging out in Caye Caulker

Ras Creek is a historically important figure in the evolution of tourism in the Jewel. A trailblazer who is still educating and thrilling his tourist clientele with his naturalist wisdom and his capacity to pull off a hell of a party simultaneously. His tours both instill awareness of the environment and generate good vibes galore.

In spite of Ras Creek’s historical significance, he has not been given the props he deserves by the at times fickle tourist industry. Believe it or not there are some philistines in the tourist biz that harass him on a regular basis. A true disservice to a man that had the vision to create something novel in a highly competitive field where new ideas are few and far between. Ras Creek might come off like some kind of Belizean-Hippie-Rasta, though underneath that bohemian look is an astute mind with a wealth of information on the sea life that lives in the waters near his home base Caye Caulker. A colorful, mythic character that knows his stuff.

Live and let live
Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: Short] #253591
10/20/07 09:58 AM
10/20/07 09:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 7
juice_lady Offline
juice_lady  Offline
Congrats to Ras Creek's success. I first met him back in '89 in Belize City renting rooms to tourists for $5 BZ. When he came out to the Caye he met with some obvious resistance, but through genuine good heartedness, he made a niche for himself. He is one of the good guys.

Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: juice_lady] #253649
10/21/07 07:15 AM
10/21/07 07:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 46
CROC Offline
CROC  Offline
nice article for RAS however the headline and the picture show that reporting can be misleading

the picture with headline says Ras Creek with a stingray where in reality its a Nurse shark he is ABUSING

next how could he of saved Irwin ?? what a CROC it was a freak accident that could happen at Shark Ray Alley anyday with the amount of abuse that goes on there.

Additionally the names of the Rays that Ras named are Spotted eagle rays and NOT stingrays ie Soon Come and Baby soon come

A typical report reported by someone that has no clue what they are talking about.

Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: CROC] #253663
10/21/07 11:37 AM
10/21/07 11:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Caye Caulker
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
I have been told for years that the reason we have the two Shark, Ray Alleys. Here and S.P. is that the area for generations was where the fisherman would come in and clean fish, lobster etc. So the rays and sharks who are scavengers over the years stuck around for the food. I do not understand how a person can discover what was already a pretty well known area prior to their lifespan???? I have also heard it said over and over that Ras discovered this area, it just does not make sense. Please dont get me wrong, I think Ras has a great tour to offer tourist, and I am first to send business his way as he offers something just a bit different and educational.

Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: Cooper] #254451
10/27/07 12:00 AM
10/27/07 12:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 25
ReelDuel Offline
ReelDuel  Offline
There must still be food there or the rays/sharks would not still be there. Maybe Ras is dumping chum for those fish

Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: ReelDuel] #254566
10/27/07 04:55 PM
10/27/07 04:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Caye Caulker
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
Most all the guides take fish with them and chum so the snorkelers can see the rays and sharks. So yes fish is still dumped there.

Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: Cooper] #254579
10/27/07 05:53 PM
10/27/07 05:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,706
San Pedro Belize
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Truth be know that Shark ray alley was developed by chumming for the purpose of attracting sharks and rays for tourist and the fishermans story is just that.

White Sands Dive Shops Daily Blog
Re: Ras Creek could have saved Crocodile Hunter [Re: elbert] #254588
10/27/07 09:04 PM
10/27/07 09:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Caye Caulker
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
OK, does that answer the question that it was not discovered, but created???


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