Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Florida – An alligator enjoys the sun while hitching a ride with a manatee! Photo Courtesy (Florida Fish & Wildlife’s Facebook by Dana Menk)
Greetings! Now how cool is this? An alligator hitches a ride on a manatee at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida! Don’t worry – we manatees have no enemies. So it’s perfectly fine for the manatee – gator interaction. Ok – now this is getting really interesting…
Last week, I blogged about Washburn the manatee following my same ocean adventures from Florida up to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and then crossing the mighty Atlantic ocean, visiting the Bahamas. Now I have another one of my manatee buddies letting a sea friend, which happens to be an alligator, take a ride on his back. I did the same thing with Tess, the sea horse and Pablo, the hermit crag in my first book, Kobee Manatee: Heading Home to Florida!
In my debut book, I swam from Florida up to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 2013. On my way back home to Florida, I picked up two new friends. It looks like my manatee buddy at Blue Spring State Park is doing the same thing with an alligator!
Can a Manatee and an Alligator be Friends?
Absolutely! Because Manatees Have No Enemies!
It’s true! We manatees have no natural enemies. That means no alligators … no sharks … just all sea friends! However, there is actually one enemy we do have and we wish it weren’t so. Our only enemy is humans! Why? It’s because of watercraft strikes that can hurt or kill us. You see, it’s the boat’s propellers that can easily hit us when we surface to breathe. Manatees are slow swimmers! We prefer to cruise at 5mph. So if a boat is quickly approaching as we surface, it can easily hit us!
Unfortunately, a record number of us manatees were killed in 2016 by watercraft strikes.] This manatee information was taken from the state of Florida’s wildlife data. It’s sad to say that according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “98 endangered manatees have died by watercraft strikes between January 1st and December 2nd. The previous record was 97 manatee deaths in 2009.” That’s why during manatee season, running from November 15th to April 15th, when us manatees migrate inland to Florida’s naturally warm springs and power plant warm water discharge areas, manatee boat zones are posted. It’s very import for watercraft operators to obey these signs. Thank you!
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee