Gone Wild for Manatee Gift Adoptions!
|Rose (left ) and sister Lily would love to visit Blue Spring State Park sometime in the winter months with hopes of seeing their manatee family, Paddy Doyle and Flash, should they be amongst the manatees who show up for morning roll call. (Photo courtesy of the Kanouff family.)
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Note: A high resolution jpeg (300 dpi) of a manatee image as well as the youngsters featured in the press release, Rose and Lily, are available upon request.
Adopting real Florida manatees for family and friends this holiday season is nature-inspired, thoughtful gift-giving that helps Save the Manatee Club increase conservation and education efforts for the endangered marine mammals and their aquatic habitat. It also helps holiday shoppers stretch those often limited budgets.
Last year, Lisa Cartossa from Holt, Missouri, decided that since her two young nieces, Lily and Rose from North Carolina, were fortunate enough to have most everything they needed, she would adopt manatees as Christmas presents for them. Lisa chose adoptees “Paddy Doyle” and “Flash,” who regularly winter at Blue Spring State Park, from Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee program. All of the manatees available for adoption can be viewed on the Club’s website. Two new manatees recently added to the list of adoptees are from Alabama, “Zewie” and “Bama.”
An annual manatee adoption costs $25, which is just a little over $2 a month, and includes a color photo of a real manatee, an adoption certificate, biography, membership handbook, and subscriptions to the Club’s newsletters which feature updated reports on the manatees in the adoption program. Shipping is free within the United States. Gift adoptions are sent with a personalized holiday message. Or for a $35 tax-deductible donation, each new member will also receive Save the Manatee Club’s 2012 wall calendar, featuring spectacular manatee photos to enjoy all year and well past.
“When my nieces received their adoption packets for Christmas, I was told you could not have heard two children screaming with excitement louder than they were,” said Lisa. “Immediately, the manatees’ pictures went on their walls. They knew about manatees, but Save the Manatee Club’s adoption program created this passion and enthusiasm in them that’s very wonderful for me as an adult to be part of. I can’t tell you how thrilled my nieces are to get the newsletter addressed personally to them. They read every word front to back. Who knows, the Club may have just created the next generation of marine life specialists dedicated to the conservation of these wonderful creatures.”
Save the Manatee Club, a national nonprofit organization, was co-founded thirty years ago by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. Funds from the holiday gift adoptions help with manatee rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts; research; education and public awareness projects; conservation work to protect manatees and their habitat; and for programs in the United States, Central and South America, the Wider Caribbean, and West Africa. Manatees are listed as endangered at the state, federal, and international levels.
Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and Executive Director of the Club, points out that manatees face tremendous challenges to their survival from human activities. “In Florida alone, since record-keeping began in 1974, more than 38% of manatee deaths where cause of death is known were human-related. So it is imperative that we continue to educate the public about the presence of manatees in our waters. Adopting a manatee is a great way to learn more about this beloved species and how to help make a difference in their lives.”
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