Millie Takes Another Trip; Vector Shows Up At TECO

Millie's immense size is easily identified in the clear water of the Silver River. Photo courtesy of CMARI.
Millie's immense size is easily identified in the clear water of the Silver River. Photo courtesy of CMARI.

By Cora Berchem, Director of Multimedia and Manatee Research Associate

In the last newsletter, we reported on manatee adoptee Millie making a long trek from Blue Spring State Park, where she was seen in December 2023, down to Fort Lauderdale in January 2024. She surprised us once again when researchers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI) reported seeing her back in the Silver River near Ocala (which connects to the St. Johns River) in March of this year! It would be interesting to know what triggers Millie to make these long trips.

The other east coast adoptees—Chessie, Illusion, and Zelda—were not sighted. For the Tampa Bay adoptees, the only sighting our partners got was for Vector who, after his visit to the TECO power plant in December 2023, made several more visits and was seen during photo-ID work by our partners from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on January 20 and February 20.

With the warmer weather, manatees have started migrating to their summer habitat. Sightings will be more sparse over the next several months as they are no longer congregating in large numbers.

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