Meet A Manatee: Doc

He has been visiting Blue Spring State Park in the winter since 1976

Doc the manatee
Doc usually makes several visits to Blue Spring State Park in the winter. Here he is on January 6, 2018.

Doc first chose to make Blue Spring State Park his winter home in 1976. Since that time, he has returned every year except for the 2006–2007 season to spend the cold months enjoying the warm spring water.

Doc is nearly 10 feet in length, which is average for an adult manatee. He weighs somewhere between 800 and 1,200 pounds, which is also the average weight for a manatee. He can easily be identified by the distinctive white scars on his back and sides and a notch in the left side of his tail.

Doc frequently stays in the park area right up to the very end of the winter season. Sometimes he even stops by in the summer. His fondness for Blue Spring is evident in that he has been the attendance champion for several years, and one season he even put in 43 appearances! During the summer, Doc may wander far and wide or choose to stay near Blue Spring. One summer, he was spotted in Lake Dexter, which is accessible from the St. Johns River. It is relatively close to Blue Spring and DeLeon Springs State Park, where Doc has also been known to make an appearance during the winter.

Doc is available for adoption, and each person who adopts him 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. For more information about adopting Doc, go to Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

And be sure to watch for Doc and other manatees on the Blue Spring webcams at and read updates from Manatee Specialist Wayne Hartley.

Watch video of Doc at Blue Spring State Park. (Video © Cora Berchem, Save the Manatee Club.)