It’s really important to know the rules of swimming where us manatees are swimming. Y ves Delpech of Sunshine River Tours at Crystal River explains, “You have to be really quiet.” If a manatee approaches you, don’t touch it. Because we’re endangered, there are strict rules in place for interacting with us.
We have been killed from watercraft strikes and manatees that do survive have whitish scars on their upper bodies showing the hits from moving propellers. Both state and federal laws in place strictly prohibit disturbing or playing with a manatee in any way shape or form.
My good friends at the Save the Manatee Club have outlined some easy rules for you to follow …
Passive observation (observing from a distance) is the best way to protect manatees and all wildlife. If you see manatees while swimming, diving, or boating, please follow these suggestions:
- Do not enter designated manatee sanctuaries for any reason.
- “Look, but don’t touch” — observe manatees from the surface of the water and at a distance.
- Avoid excessive noise and splashing.
- Use snorkel gear when attempting to watch manatees — the sound of scuba gear may cause them to leave the area.
- Don’t feed manatees or give them water.
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