Researchers in the Maldives were stunned this month to see the return of a manta ray just six months after it sustained devastating injuries. Babaganoush, nicknamed Baba, is one of more than 5,000 reef manta rays identified and tracked by research outfit Manta Trust in the Maldives. He is well known in Hanifaru Bay and has been sighted over 200 times since 2005. In November 2018, Baba had been seen carrying horrific injuries after being hit by a speedboat. The Manta Trust said the boat’s propeller had cut so deep into his body that his internal organs were exposed, causing the worst injuries they had seen on a living ray. Manta rays are vulnerable to boat strikes in the Maldives while feeding or travelling on the ocean surface, especially outside the few small protected areas where boat speed restrictions are in place. The team thought Baba’s days were numbered but just six months after being injured, on May 4 he reappeared in the bay. His injuries had healed better than anyone could have hoped and he was swimming well. (…)