animals, wild animals

Oh, the Hu-manatee!!!

Ok, so my puns are not always the best, but the title of this post really made me laugh. I love manatees, I have had a strange fascination with them for a long time. It is actually one of my wildest dreams to hug one, even though it is highly illegal. Yesterday, 19 manatees were rescued from a Florida drain pipe. Before you judge the manatee’s intelligence, let’s learn a little bit more about these gentle giants:

These large mammals can live upwards of 40 years, while they graze on algae, sea weeds, and other greens in the water. They are great swimmers with very strong tails. They can be up to 13 feet long and up to 1,300 pounds. With this large weight, it is amazing that each day they can eat up to a tenth of their body weight. They love to hang out in warm water, and eat all day; which sounds ideal to me. Baby manatee’s can swim on their own just an hour after birth and they are fairly endangered due to hunting and being injured by boat propellers. (Learn more on manatees here: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/manatee/ )

Now that you love manatee’s as much as I do (not possible, sorry), we can look deeper into how 19 manatees got stuck in a drain pipe. Manatees always gravitate towards warm water. So if you’ve been watching the news anytime in the last 2 weeks, you’ve definitely seen the coverage about all of the awful winter weather that has been sweeping across the U.S. The cold weather in Florida has caused water temps to drop to low levels, which cause the manatees to congregate in beachside canals. The manatee’s ended up in this drain pipe searching for fresh, warm water. Since manatees cannot swim backwards, they were in quite the predicament. They ended up cutting the drain pipe open to deal with the situation at hand. After lifting a few of the manatees out of the pipe, they were able to redirect the others out of the drain pipe. For the most part, the manatees were unscathed and everything turned out on a positive note.

Hopefully, my life will take my to the warm waters of Florida to swim with manatees and maybe “accidentally” hug one!

Learn more about the rescuing of the manatees here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/02/24/crews-work-to-free-manatees-trapped-in-florida-storm-drain/

Photo credit: Drew Russell

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