Paddy Doyle is a feisty manatee known to winter regularly at Blue Spring
Paddy Doyle was named at the request of a visiting researcher who was Irish and thought it would be nice to have an “Irish” manatee at Blue Spring. It turns out that Paddy’s “fighting Irishman” name is quite appropriate. During three different winter seasons, researchers selected him to be monitored by the manatee tracking program. Each time Paddy had to be captured to be fitted for his equipment, his feisty nature was evident. However, researchers managed to tag him despite his resistance. Valuable data is gained from tracking manatees, including details of their migration and feeding patterns and other daily behaviors. This information has helped managers decide where manatee protection areas are needed.
Paddy Doyle returns regularly to Blue Spring each winter and makes a number of showings at “roll call” each winter, when researchers travel the spring run in a canoe and count the manatees present. In fact, Paddy likes the area so much that he has been known to stop by during the summer months as he cruises around the St. Johns River. The St. Johns originates in central Florida and flows from south to north for approximately 310 miles, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville, Florida. Paddy Doyle often likes to play around the swimming area at the park. This is not a problem during the winter months when humans are not allowed in the swimming area, but if he pops in during the summer, swimmers in the swimming area may need to leave the water while he is visiting. Paddy is social and playful, and he seems to enjoy the company of other manatees. In particular, he is known to be quite fond of Phyllis and spends a lot of time in her company; however, he does also enjoy the company of some of the other male manatees at the park.
During manatee season, check our Blue Spring webcams for updates on the latest news on Paddy Doyle and other Blue Spring manatees.