Skip to comments.Six Mating Manatees Beach Near Boca Raton
Posted on 07/30/2002 10:15:53 AM PDT by mattdono
By Jill Barton
Associated Press Writer
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - Six mating manatees were returning to the ocean Tuesday after beaching themselves in the surf off Boca Raton, officials said.
Biologists said the five male manatees and one female manatee were showing a typical mating pattern, common during the summer.
The manatees showed no recent wounds and appeared healthy, said Dr. Kirt Rusenko, a biologist with the city of Boca Raton who was on the scene. He said they were not in any danger.
By mid-morning, two of the manatees had returned to the ocean and the other four appeared to be moving out as the tide moved in.
A crowd of about 100 curious onlookers gathered along orange barricades set up to protect the creatures.
"A lot of people are running for their cameras," Rusenko said.
Kelly Purdy, a sea turtle specialist with the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, found the manatees about 6:30 a.m. while doing her regular survey for turtle nests.
Penny Husted, a manatee biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, said from two to 20 males will follow a female manatee for days, sometimes weeks, until she is receptive.
"She will beach herself in shallow areas to hide her genital regions and to basically rest," Husted said. "It's important that people leave them alone when they do this so she can get the rest that she needs."
Husted said the female will typically return to deeper water once she has rested.
"We don't need to intervene in any way," Husted said.
Christy Hudak, a manatee specialist with the commission, said officers would step in to help the manatees only if the tide runs out and leaves them stranded.
Lt. Jim Huffstodt, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission spokesman, said authorities were told about the beaching around 7 a.m. Biologists said the manatees could have washed ashore overnight.
The manatees beached about half a mile south of the Boca Raton Inlet, near the Whitehall condominium.
Local television stations showed footage of the six black manatees huddled along the shore as the waves washed over their backs.
I am not sure what I am scared of more, seeing her in a bathing suit or thinking of her mating...
AHHHH!!! MY EYES!!! CUT THEM OUT!!! CUT THEM OUT!!!
Six mating Manatees
Five Bingo Cardiacs
Four Dangling Chads...
Three Old Hens
With two Beaching Bums...
And a Reno dangling from a tree !
"Bring yo hat momma! We may not be comin' back this away!"
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