November is Manatee Awareness Month! While we usually write about pets, we also care very much about local wildlife. One animal that is in grave danger is a beloved Florida icon: the manatee. Manatees are in dire straits this year, due to the confluence of several threats. One major issue is a lack of sea grass in the Apollo River Basin, one of their main feeding grounds. Boats are another threat. It’s far too common to see manatees sporting wounds and/or scars from run-ins with propellers. Pollution, of course, is also a threat, as are algae blooms. If you want to help these gentle, friendly sea cows, read on! A Seminole, FL vet offers some ways to help in this article.
Adopting an actual manatee isn’t exactly a viable option. However, you can symbolically adopt one through the Save A Manatee website here. There are different levels available to choose from. This can also make a great gift!
Have you ever been to the Tampa Electric viewing center at Apollo Beach? Winter is a prime time to observe these lovable animals in the wild. Manatees—like many other Florida natives—are not well-suited to cold temperatures. When it gets chilly out, they tend to congregate in warm waters. They figured out long ago that the area around the power plant stays nice and toasty, even when it’s cold out. These docile animals are really fun and cute to watch!
When it comes to helping animals, simply spreading awareness can be extremely helpful. Share articles, pictures, and photos of manatees on your social media pages. Use relevant hashtags, such as #manateeawarenessday and #saveourmanatees. You can also share important information. For instance, anyone who comes across a manatee that is hurt, sick, or being abused should contact the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or through VHF Channel 16 on marine radio.
The manatee hasn’t yet become a major movie star, either in animated or traditional films. However, there are several documentaries available that focus on these fascinating animals, and the threats they face. There are also a few manatee children’s books available. This can be a wonderful way to educate children about the beautiful animals we share our state—and our planet—with.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Seminole, FL animal clinic, today!