Meet a Manatee: Ariel

Rescued as a calf with her mother, she is curious and social

Updated: October 3, 2022

Ariel the manatee investigates the underwater viewing area at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
Ariel cruises past the Fish Bowl underwater Observatory at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

When Ariel was just a few weeks old, she was rescued with her mother Amanda in Lake Worth Inlet, located along Florida’s southeastern coast. It was Christmas Day 1973, and Amanda had been hit by a boat and had bad injuries caused by the boat’s propeller. Luckily, Ariel was not injured. The pair was rescued, and Amanda was nursed back to health. In 1986, they were moved to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. Sadly, Amanda died in 2011 during a medical procedure, but Ariel still lives at the park, along with another permanent resident named Betsy.

Ariel is large for a female manatee, tipping the scales at nearly 2,300 pounds the last time she was weighed. In the wild, manatees average about 1,200 pounds, and females are typically larger than males. Ariel is also a curious and playful manatee. She is also fond of popping her head up above the water to observe park staff when they are talking during the manatee education programs. Ariel and Betsy spend their days exploring the spring run and watching the park visitors in the Fish Bowl underwater observatory.

If you are in Florida, you can visit Ariel and the other manatees at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. You can also see them year-round on our webcams at

You can adopt Ariel or other manatees!
Each person who adopts her will receive a full-color photo, biography, and adoption certificate, as well as a membership handbook and subscription to The Manatee Zone, a newsletter featuring updates on the adopted manatees when they are sighted, and Paddle Tales, Save the Manatee Club’s bi-monthly eNewsletter.
Adopt for Myself Adopt for Someone Else Educator Adoption
For more information or to view other manatees available for adoption, visit the Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).