Meet A Manatee: Floyd

A reliable guy who’s been visiting Blue Spring since he was a youngster

Floyd the manatee
Floyd has been visiting Blue Spring State Park since he was a calf. He usually arrives with the beginning of cool weather and heads out for the summer sometime in February or early March, and he is known to make several visits to the park each season.

Floyd was born sometime during the summer of 1978. We know how old he is because when he was just a few months old, his mother Phoebe brought him to visit Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. The mother and calf pair also spent the cold months in the warm spring waters at Blue Spring, and Floyd has returned to the park every winter since that time. Phoebe died some years ago, but Floyd has a younger brother named Philip who also visits Blue Spring in the winter.

Floyd is easily identified by the park rangers because he only has half of his tail as well as a large, crescent-shaped indentation and series of horizontal scars on his left side. All of these scars were caused by boat strikes. Manatees can swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts, but they usually only swim about three to five miles per hour. Because manatees are slow-moving, need to surface to breathe air, and prefer shallow water, they are vulnerable to boat hits.

Floyd is known as a pretty reliable guy. He usually arrives at Blue Spring with the beginning of cool weather and heads out for the summer sometime in February or early March, and he makes several visits to the park each season. Wayne Hartley, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Specialist, has observed that Floyd has an interesting quirk that sets him apart from the other manatees. Apparently, Floyd likes to rest slightly away from the other manatees in the spring run with his head pointing downstream. Other manatees tend to face upstream into the current when they rest.

Scars on Floyd the manatee
Floyd is easily identified by the park rangers because he only has half of his tail as well as a large, crescent-shaped indentation and series of horizontal scars on his left side. All of these scars were caused by boat strikes.

However, just because he rests apart from the other manatees does not mean that Floyd is anti-social. In fact, Floyd has a reputation for being playful and active, and he is often seen chasing after female manatees such as Phyllis, Lily, and Lucille. His male companions include Howie, Brutus, and Doc.

This season, Floyd showed up on November 19, 2019, along with fellow adoptees Nick, Margarito, Lenny, and Flash.  He made several visits to the park this season, including one morning on February 8th where he was only one of two Save the Manatee Club adoptees present for “manatee roll call” or the morning manatee count. The other adoptee present was Una. Floyd’s most recent visit was on February 29th.

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

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

Watch video of Floyd, as he swims, rests, and surfaces to breathe on his visits to Blue Spring State Park. Notice the unique scars that identify him.