Skip to comments.Manatees mating in local waters (Hugh Manatee Alert)
Posted on 06/14/2008 5:56:16 PM PDT by abb
Along the Emerald Coast, it's fairly common to see dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles and other marine animals. But manatees cause more of a stir.
That's why Niceville veterinarian Jenny Fortune and her husband were slow to identify what was swimming between them in hip-deep water near Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park recently.
"I'm looking at it, going Oh my God, what is it?' " Fortune said. "These things are giant. Your brain just doesn't compute."
She said they first thought it might be a large manta ray. They quickly realized that the creature wasn't flat, but very, very bulky.
"It just kept going, it was like a train," she said. "Finally, at the tail end, you could see a flipper."
Manatees do visit local waters infrequently during the summer, according to Andy Garrett, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"It will be hit or miss," he said. "It won't be like traveling the waterways around South Florida."
They even mate here, he said.
Fortune, who called the FWC wildlife hotline after her manatee sighting, said she was told that there were five breeding manatees near Destin.
No one at FWC could confirm that conversation. However, officials said that folks who do see courtships often call it in out of concern for the animals.
Garrett said that several males will chase a lone female into shallow water, where she will wait until she is ready to receive them.
Typical calls involve folks worrying that the female is injured and other manatees are trying to help it by pushing it to shallow water.
"That's what they think they're seeing," Garrett said. "What they're actually seeing is the male trying to get underwater to mate with her and she's not letting them."
Daily News Staff Writer Wendy Victora can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 1478.
SEEN A MANATEE?
Have you seen a manatee in local waters? Call Wendy Victora at 863-1111, Ext. 1478, or e-mail her at email@example.com. The Daily News is also interested in publishing your photos or videos of manatees found in the area.
Hey, folks, your father ever tell you he was NOT hurting your mother???
Don’t care about manatees. I stopped watching Family Guy a long time ago.
One of the saddest things I have ever seen was a huge manatee swimming around and around in a small shallow pool in a town on the west coast of Florida. I am not a big fan of keeping wild animals in captivity and that includes zoos.
LOL the 9 yr. old came running into the house last week to tell us one turtle was trying to hurt another turtle. Her 8 yr. old cousin had to tell her they were making babys. Boy was she disgusted.
Liberals get to hyperventilating over some of the weirdest things. I guess watching two walruses copulate would turn some people on. I’m not one of them.
Good one, abb!
I actually did sit here and LOL, for several minutes.
And I’ll probably wake up laughing some time late tonight!
2 gray whales fonicating in 6 feet of water has got to be funnier.
We watched 2 of them getting it on in Magdalena Bay about 30 years ago and about died laughing!
We’ve not had a hugh manatee alert in a couple of years. About time for one, doncha think?
Hugh Manatee Alert!
Next we'll be talking about "Mooses" and "Cheese," fer Pete's Sake!
He has that manatee face.
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