I headed back over to the Manatee Viewing Center at the electric plant when my sister was visiting in February. We got there right when it opened on a weekday and it was already crowded. Everyone was here to see the hundreds of manatees floating near the dock. I first noticed a girl out there floating with them. She worked with an enviremental agency and was counting the manatees and making notes of each one’s distinct markings. There was also one on the dock counting. Can you imagine floating around with all of those manatees? It seems like a dream job.
Standing on the dock looking down, you could see lots of them floating close together. I took this one with my phone.
It was hard to single them out and get close up shots.
When we first got there we had heard there was going to be a manatee released back into the wild. We got a good spot on the dock railing and I was able to get pictures of them bringing it down to the water.
They carried that heavy manatee down to the water and carefully placed the tarp in the water and the manatee swam away. Everyone cheered as he swam out of the blue tarp. The thing I find interesting is that it was all women who carried that manatee that could have weighed from 1500 to 3000 lbs. Many of them were volunteers.
The manatee had been rehabilitated at Zoo Tampa, probably stranded from cold stun or starving (which many of them have been lately due to changes in grass beds).The zoo has a manatee hospital on site and you can see some of the resident ones there.
A few of the birds cruising by as we were waiting for the manatee release. A bald eagle was flying over by the electric plant and a tricolored heron flew right by the dock.
One of the cute statues at the viewing center.