Success was born in 1982 to Sweetgums. Success received her name because she was Sweetgums’ first “successful” pregnancy. However, her name could just as easily have been applied to her “success” in surviving massive injuries. She was severely wounded in 1983 by a boat, which left massive scarring all along her back. Sadly, those marks were not the only ones—her back and tail were dreadfully scarred, testimonies to the damage that speeding boats can do to manatees. These terrible scars made her easily identifiable to the rangers at Blue Spring. This very brave lady not only survived her wounds, but still maintained her sense of trust. She had no fear of the rangers or the research canoe, and followed trustingly along after them, ever curious.
Success was a proud mama four times and became a grandmother in 1993. In addition to looking after her own calves, she often “adopted” others, nursing them as if they were her own. Female manatees will sometimes take on another little one to nurse, in addition to their own calves. she was a second mother to a number of young ones, including one who had suffered some injuries. When she wasn’t being kept busy looking after her young charges, Success liked to play around and rest in the warm Blue Spring water. Most winter seasons, she would stop by at least 30 times. One year she was the “attendance champion,” putting in more appearances that season than any other.
Success was a regular visitor at Blue Spring since Sweetgums introduced her to the park in 1982. However, in 2000 she unexpectedly didn’t show up. At first, it was thought “no news is good news,” as nothing had been reported to indicate that something bad had happened to her. Unfortunately, she was not seen again and, due to the severity of her scarring making her easily identifiable, it’s believed that she passed away and her death went unreported. Success was very special and is greatly missed by Save the Manatee Club and her many adoptive parents.