Elaine Cert USGS



Elaine had her first calf at age 5 in 1990, and got into her fair share of mischief at Blue Spring State Park! Elaine was last seen in 2013.

Elaine has not been sighted since 2013. We hope no news is good news, and we will continue to look out for her, but her absence means that there may not be any updates in our newsletters or webcam blogs.

Elaine’s story started at Blue Spring State Park, when her mother Emma introduced her to the spring in September 1985. After a quick visit, mom and baby left the park, but returned to spend the winter on December 15, 1985, where they remained until March 1986. Unfortunately, Emma passed away in July 1987. At the time of Emma’s death, Elaine was likely just under a year old and still a dependent calf that needed a mother. She disappeared from Blue Spring for the 1986–1987 season, but fortunately reappeared in 1987. This leads us to believe another manatee became her surrogate mother and took her to a different warm-water refuge for the winter. Nursing mothers will sometimes adopt an orphan and allow her to nurse along with her own calf. Elaine became a mother herself in 1990 at 5 years old when she gave birth to Ester—we know her to have had a total of four calves and fourteen grand-calves!

When Elaine visited Blue Spring, she was known for being playful and mischievous, often spending her time interacting with other manatees. She has been known to spend time with SMC adoptee Nick, and has shown up for and departed from the winter season in the company of other manatees. She is also a rather elusive, unpredictable manatee. Unlike many other Blue Spring regulars, she often skipped the winter season altogether, or put in only a few appearances. She often went as far as skipping several consecutive years, causing the researchers worry! Her infrequent use of the park suggests that she called several different locations her winter home.

Scar Chart & Identifying Photos

Photos and Videos of Elaine