Meet a Manatee: Flash

A shy guy, he will take off in a “flash” anytime he is disturbed.

Date: August 30, 2019

Flash earned his name because he is an extremely shy manatee. He will take off in a “flash” anytime he is disturbed. Wary of humans, he can be very elusive when people are looking for him.

Flash the manatee
Though he often keeps to himself, Flash does sometimes travel with other manatees.

Date: June 30, 2021

A male manatee who winters at Blue Spring State Park, near Orange City, Florida, Flash was first identified in 1977. Flash is a very large manatee. That’s one way that researchers identify him. Sadly, another way is by the numerous scars he bears. Originally named “Mr. Clean” because he had no big scars, Flash has suffered a number of boat strike injuries across his back, tail, and face. These injuries have healed, but the scars remain.

On winter mornings, researchers at Blue Spring do a manatee “roll call” where they count and identify the manatees visiting the spring run. Wayne Hartley, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Specialist, tracks the manatees at Blue Spring. He says that Flash tends to evade roll call and keep to himself.

Flash has missed a few winter seasons at Blue Spring. This is not uncommon since manatees will sometimes explore and locate alternative warm water sites. In fact, Flash has been documented spending time in a spring to the north of Blue Spring, along with fellow adoptees Brutus and Merlin.

Flash the manatee
Some of the scars that researchers use to identify Flash.

When Flash does visit Blue Spring, he usually shows up early for the winter season, often coming in ahead of the other manatees. Though he often keeps to himself, he does sometimes travel in and out for the season with other manatees. He has been spotted with adoptees Merlin, Lenny, Brutus, and Lucille. Despite his timidity with humans, he’s been known to pester the female manatees.

Be sure to check our Blue Spring webcams and get updates for the latest news on Flash and other Blue Spring manatees, and click the “Learn More” box to see scar charts for Flash and the other Blue Spring manatees. Plus, see video of Flash below and check out our YouTube page for additional videos.

You can also adopt Flash or other manatees. For more information, go to Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).

See video of Flash from his visits to Blue Spring State Park.