It all began, as so many wonderful things do, at Sea World. My third grade Girl Scout troop had pooled our cookie money, and bought a “Sea World Sleepover” excursion. Upon arriving at the park, our troop was assigned to sleep next to the shark tank—not exactly the dream of a pack of 8 year-old girls. As fate would have it, that same night a troop of Boy Scouts was at the park and willingly swapped sleepover spots with us.  And so, I ended up spending a night with the manatees. Ever since that trip, it’s been love.

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My Manatee


The Gallery

-Manatee Facts-
  1. Manatees typically coast along at 5 miles an hour, but can reach speads of 20 miles per hour in short bursts
  2. A resting manatee can remain submerged for up to 15 minutes
  3. There are 3 species of manatee: West Indian, Amazonian, and African
  4. Infant manatees can usually swim on their own 1 hour after birth
  5. Manatees can't turn their heads! They have 6 (not 7) cervical vertebrae, so they must turn their whole bodies to look around
  1. Manatees only significant predator is Man
  2. A manatee can consme about 10-15% of their body weight in vegetation daily (the average manatee weighs approx. 1000 lbs)
  3. The elephant and the hyrax are the manatee's closest relatves
  4. Currently, Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivily (and likely the oldest manatee in the world), is 63 years old
  5. Manatees don't have eyelashes, but they do have toenails

-My Manatee-
    For my 20th birthday, 2 friends of mine made me an adoptive parent of a manatee. He is a 27 year-old West Indian manatee named Margarito (named after the Jimmy Buffet song Margaritaville).
    Researchers from the Save the Manatee Club claim that Margarito is a curious, friendly, and social manatee. His main identifier is a missing left flipper, which was lost due to an entanglement in monofilament fishline.
   Every winter since 1984, Margarito has traveled to Florida's Blue Springs State Park.    It is my hope to go out and visit him in December of 2012!

Click the picture for a link to Margarto's SMC Page!


    Starting to feel the manatee love? Here's a list of manatee festivals so that you can get down with the Sea Cows!!

Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival (Orange City, Florida)
January 28th and 29th, 2012
(Downtown Crystal River, Florida)
January 21st and 22nd, 2012

-The Gallery-
(A Little Bit of Manatee Humor for Your Enjoyment)

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