Lunching with a manatee

By Lianna Hubbard

Caroline Pride, an FSW environmental science student, woke up on April 18 to find a young manatee lunching in her backyard.

“I’d like to believe this manatee calls our canal home. However, it’s main mission seemed to be snacking on the red mangrove propagules [spores].”

Pride lives in Fort Myers Beach, on a canal that leads to Hurricane Bay. Sea creatures from the bay regularly visit her canal. She has had visits from dolphins and other manatees in the past.

Last summer, a manatee gave birth in the canal behind her home. The family and newborn stayed in the canal to snack on the red mangroves that grow behind Pride’s house.

“I’d like to think that the manatee that I photographed is the same baby but grown up,” said Pride.

“It saddens me to already see scars on its back from boat propellers. It’s very common to see these scars on manatees and most times they are much worse. This is why it’s important for boaters to be aware of the posted rules and their surroundings above and below the water.”

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