A bright, excited and eager face greets you with overwhelming curiosity, wrinkly skin and a messy snout with algae not yet washed off. I’m talking about this adorable baby manatee, but I could be illustrating many other species of cute little ones across our planet!
Baby manatee with a messy snout and fish friend explores his environment in the springs. Recent image. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.
This is another in my series telling stories behind my recent images from the past two seasons.
Baby manatees are extremely curious, some more so than others. Mother manatees are sometimes overprotective, and sometimes mother manatees are more liberal, resting with one-eye-open, letting junior explore to his heart’s content close by. Sounds a lot like mothers everywhere, doesn’t it?
The young manatee’s sidekick in this photo is a bluegill, which are common in the springs. I usually call all the sunfish, bream, because it’s easy to mistake the redear sunfish for the bluegill or other bream for that matter.
A couple of days ago, our west coast of Florida was threatened with significant storm surge by the monster hurricane Michael. Parts of the Florida panhandle were hit hard and will need lots of help and time to recover, my heart goes out to all residents. Thankfully, Crystal River fared better than expected but yesterday, yes, a mother manatee and her calf needed to be rescued. Unusually high levels of storm-driven water surge tempts manatees to shelter, eat and rest in unusual areas that they sometimes can’t get out of. Fortunately, there was lots of help and muscle power nearby ready and willing! These photographs from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page tell the story of the rescued mother and her calf:
With baby manatee cuteness like this, who wouldn’t come rushing to the rescue? Just like babies everywhere…!
***If you see a manatee that may be in distress call the experts at FWC: Call/email/or use the App: Florida Fish And Wildlife manatee hotline: 888-404-3922 or email Tip@MyFWC.com
Or Download the FWC Report App to your phone: http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2018/february/19/sighting-app/