It was exciting yet alarming to see so many MANATEES washing up at the shoreline last night! There were more than 7 of these SEA COWS rolling around in the breaking waves …. only a few feet from my toes. My first instinct was… “Omigosh! They are hurt!”. Then…. ummmm… maybe not. Was is still mating season? I couldn’t remember! I immediately called our local US Fish and Wildlife office (I have it on speed dial!) to make sure this was not an emergency.
We saw MANATEES mating last year at the Lighthouse Beach and the year before at Blind Pass… but this looked different. So when I called USF&W and told them there were MANATEES t the shoreline, he kept telling me not to touch them or get close to them. I wanted to say “Of course! They are wild animals and I dont want to disturb them …but I want to know if they need help!”. I starting filming just about the minute I got there so I caught my whole conversation with the fella at USF&W. So it’s funny just to hear my side of the conversation.
So, instead of telling you what happened, you can watch and listen to it on video. This was so cool to see this close encounter! The video is a little long but trust me, I cut it a way shorter than I taped them. I could have stood there for hours- It was so amazing!
So here’s the UPDATE: 8-15-13…. These MANATEES were mating! They weren’t in any danger being so close to the shore the fella from Fish And Wildlife reassured me. I talked to Beth from Blue Dolphin Cottages on West Gulf Drive near this sighting. She said they swam in around 11 am just north of their property and slowly floated along the shoreline until I saw them at 8 pm. The USF&W guy said it would not be unusual if they stayed there all night as well! But Beth told me they were gone by the morning…. but had funny story for me! Since those MANATEES were on their beach the entire day… they left a few stinky gifts on the beach! Bahahhaha. She posted this photo on their Facebook page and said…
“Wonderful guests volunteered for manatee poop removal!”