Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Humpy returns with a suprise....the orphaned baby

I wrote this letter to Fish and Wildlife today. If you aren't familar with Humpy, look at my previous postings.

Dear Ken, I spotted Humpy the manatee with the large lump today in my canal, The Big Cypress at about 5 pm.. The lump is truly much larger, I hope my pics do it justice. It is very dimensional. The good new is that her baby is doing great. Fan the adolescent manatee is still with her. I have heard we have an orphaned baby on the river and I believe Humpy has adopted it. So as usual she had quite a crew with her...2 babies, and the adolescent.
The group was eating, resting and frolicking. What else do manatees do?
I stayed with them for about an hour and a half. Believe it or not, I was extremely quiet and I was able to feel the lump quite a bit. It is hard like a brick! I felt the rest of her skin and the lump felt much harder. I didn't see or feel any ulcerations and I even felt under the lump. I did notice when she comes up she blows alot of water through her nostrils. She has always done this and I always wondered if that was normal. Today I thought about my Park Manatees. I get around 6 inches from their nostrils and there is no moisture when they blow out or else I would get a face full of water. They blow just air. Humpy blows all water.
Once they decided to move on, I observed her swimming. I really don't think she has any buoyency problems.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I haven't been kayaking in a while. It has been just too hot, or too rainy or too something. I have been going to the park 3 times a week giving manatee encounters. There are so many great, caring people out there from all over the world. we just need to reach the people who are unaware, or just don't care about what is happening to our environment. Our Manatees. I am going to also give alligator and hippo encounters. Don't worry, I don't go in the water with them. Although I get to throw watermelon, cantelope and honey dew into the hippos mouth. He begs for it. No feeding the gators. Just a talk about them,
I never knew that hippos are related to whale. That suprised me.

Well today was finally a glorious day. I invited a friend from the park, Joanne (her specialy is rehabing raptors) to kayak with me. She passed the test with flying colors. No problem adapting to my pedal kayak and we got to go way the heck upriver.

There were 2 manatees off my dock this morn. They are feeding deeper now and don't surface for long period of time. I think this is where the newer, higher protien vegetation grows.

The river was a beautiful green/blue and perfectly clear. Great for swimming and that we did. An otter swam right past us while we were in the river, very cool

There was another, younger manatee feeding in the river. I warned the couple of boaters out of its posistion and they all said they would look for the manatee.

We kayaked for 3.5 hours and finally slowly floated home.
I ran into quite a few of kayakers I knew so it was a very social day also.

It felt so good to be back on the river.
talk to you later

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