News

Roller Coaster Weather Had Manatees Coming And Going

BS10 Doc 2023 12 22cb (2)

By Wayne Hartley, Manatee Specialist

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The first day of the 2023–24 manatee season at Blue Spring State Park was on November 6, 2023. Seventy-six manatees were present. Numbers went downhill from there and did not pick up again until November 25. On November 30, 447 manatees were counted. The first adoptee to appear was Moo Shoo with her calf on the webcam at 7 a.m. on November 7. She did not appear at roll call, that day, but Annie and Gator did. Lily came in a day later. Deep Dent was in on November 27. Rocket and Whiskers appeared on November 29. Philip, Una, Phyllis, Paddy Doyle, Lenny, and Nick made a big day on November 30. The next day, Brutus, Floyd, Howie, and Margarito showed up. Next was Flash on December 6, Aqua on December 15, and Merlin finally made it in on December 21. Doc dragged himself in the next day and every adoptee who we expected to see had made at least one roll call.

Una has collected more monofilament (fishing) line on her left flipper and several attempts have been made to cut the line off, but she has evaded help so far. Gator is normally around Blue Spring even in the summer, but this season he is spending a lot of time at other nearby springs. All the adoptees appear in good health with no new severe scars. Moo Shoo is the only adoptee seen with a calf. One of the manatees released at Blue Spring last season died in North Florida, which I believe was due to the cold weather. Another was rescued at the spring on January 16 for being severely underweight, but is so far doing well at SeaWorld Orlando.

Another large release of rehabilitated manatees occurred in early February and we will report on it in the next newsletter.

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