Monday, June 1, 2009

1st Manatee sighting!

We saw manatees! Although some neighbors had mentioned past manatee sightings, after 8 months we had almost lost hope of spotting one…until Saturday. While M. was working in the backyard, he heard a giant SPLOOSHING noise behind him. He turned in time to see a full size gray marine mammal swimming about 20 feet from our yard and began yelling “MANATEES! MANATEES!” My sister and I ran to the seawall just in time to catch the two beautiful manatees playing in the water. My sis grabbed her camera and snapped a few shots as they swam away. Yes, the pics are a little loch-ness-monster-like, but we will definitely try to get more pics when the manatees come back.

The Florida Manatee, or Trichus Manatus Latirostris, is a mythical, magical, marine mammal native to the warm waters of the Gulf Coast. Manatees are known for being large, gentle and vegetarian ;) Although no longer considered an endangered species, manatees are still under the protection of many Florida state laws. Our house is part of a Hillsborough County designated Manatee Zone, which requires extra slow boat speeds so that manatees are not injured by boat propellors. More info about manatees can be found here
. Ever since we went snorkeling with wild manatees last year, we have been in awe of these incredible creatures. Now, we can’t believe our luck - that we can spot them from our backyard!



Here's a pic of J. at our manatee snorkel tour in Crystal River, Florida last year... (M. took this pic)



And one of M. scratching a manatee belly... (J. took this pic.)


4 comments:

Beltway Spinner said...

hey! My pictures are famous! :oD Since only a nose or a fin pokes out every so often, these guys are notoriously hard to photograph. You forgot to mention the sounds they made. There were two and they seemed to be 'talking' to one another.

Gene said...

Nice pics! My parents live in south Florida along a canal and see them. That's cool you can see them from your backyard.

MissBliss said...

Amazing!! Can't wait to spot them one day...

J - Pacha Mama said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping a comment. The best times to spot them are between November and May, when they swim closer to shore seeking warmer waters. Good luck :)

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