Meet a Manatee: Elaine

An infrequent visitor to Blue Spring, she is known for being playful and mischievous.

Date: August 11, 2021

Elaine the manatee with her mother Emma.
Elaine, at right, as a calf with her mother Emma.

On September 12, 1985, Elaine’s mother, Emma, brought her new calf to Blue Spring State Park for the first time. Emma had spent winter seasons at Blue Spring in the past and was a Save the Manatee Club adoptee at the time. After a quick visit, mom and calf left the park but returned to spend the winter in December 1985. They remained at Blue Spring until March 4, 1986.

Sadly, Emma was found dead of unknown causes in Shell Creek, near Blue Spring, in July 1986. Mother manatees nurse their calves for one to two years, so Elaine was likely a dependent calf at the time Emma died. However, nursing mothers will sometimes adopt an orphaned calf, and it’s possible she found a surrogate mother.

Elaine was next seen at Blue Spring in November 1987, when she was on her own. She is a mother herself now and has had four known calves and 14 known “grandcalves.”

Elaine the manatee and her daughter Ester.
Elaine (at left) and her daughter Ester in February 1991.

When Elaine visits Blue Spring, she is known for being playful and mischievous. She is very active, and enjoys interacting with the other manatees. Unlike many other Blue Spring regulars, however, she often skips the winter season altogether or puts in only a few appearances. Elaine has missed many consecutive seasons in the past and has missed the last eight at Blue Spring as of 2021.

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

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