Went to a park, today, that was placed on an inlet where manatees head in order to mate/breed due to the water being warmer than larger bodies of water or the gulf are at this time of year. This trip was attempted during previous years’ trips to Florida but was always unsuccessful because the manatees were already on the move to their primary habitats due to higher temperatures. However, this year has been colder on average so we were lucky enough to get to see them given that our trip again fell on the same week of the year.
There were something like 50 manatees present at the park, according to those working there. We were just happy to see some in a setting other than a zoo. There were seemingly all manatee age groups present and a couple with the now unfortunate trademark boat propeller scars on their backs – an obvious sign that a boater had run over one of the creatures as they lumbered in the water just beneath the surface.
Apparently, this particular inlet was often a temporary home to a larger than normal number of manatees. You see, this inlet’s water supply was subsidized by a power plant water exhaust and that warm water run-off helps keep the temperature higher than normal. This leads to an extended season of sorts for the manatees to find a comfortable habitat in which to rejuvenate and breed.
It was a great little day trip, and was free. Well, I guess we had to pay a buck to park. I highly recommend taking a visit – it might help demystify these creatures and, if nothing else, makes you more aware of what these creates are all about.