A Tie Rocks The Adoptee Attendance Race

 Adoptees in Blue Spring. Photos by Cora Berchem, Save the Manatee Club.
Adoptees in Blue Spring. Photos by Cora Berchem, Save the Manatee Club.

By Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist

The Blue Spring manatee season started on November 6 with a manatee count of 76 and ended on March 1 with a manatee count of 38. March 1 was the last day with a river temperature of 68 °F (20 °C) or lower. After that, the manatees still coming in were a few juveniles and many of the recently released manatees, with few exceptions. Even though the river remained below the spring run temperature for several days, I felt most were coming in just out of habit.

On to the Blue Spring manatee attendance race. This season, we have our first tie! Annie and Lily were both sighted 37 times. The attendance champions are usually females with a calf or who are pregnant; neither applies to Lily. I’ve known Lily for 44 years, so she must be 50 years old or more. Maybe Lily’s old bones needed the extra warmth of the spring. Moo Shoo did have a calf to keep warm, and I thought she would win, but she was third with 29 visits. Moo Shoo’s visits sort of trailed off toward the end of the season. Gator spent some time away from the run this season at other refuges but still managed to be seen 28 times for fourth place. Gator is the male attendance champion. Phyllis was in the running but came in fifth with 26 visits. Deep Dent and Howie surprised me with 25 visits each to tie for sixth. Then there was Nick with 23 visits for eighth, Paddy Doyle with 22 visits for ninth, Una with 21 visits for tenth (Una usually does better), and Phillip with 20 visits for eleventh place. Then we had another tie for twelfth between Brutus and Doc, who were in 17 times. This was a big increase for Brutus! Aqua and Floyd were seen 16 times to tie for fourteenth. Lenny and Whiskers tied for sixteenth place at 12 sightings. Margarito came in nine times for eighteenth place. Rocket had seven visits for twentieth place. Merlin was our tail-end Charlie at five sightings for twenty-first place. Unfortunately, Lucille was a no-show again this season.

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