Meet A Manatee: Millie

She has been sighted from Port Everglades to the Upper St. Johns River

Updated October 3, 2022

Millie the manatee swims above a seagrass bed. her tail is missing a piece, making it look somewhat fluked, like a dolphin's tail.
Millie is a traveler! She has been tracked along the east coast of Florida, Blue Spring State Park, and the Silver River.

Millie the manatee is a real traveler with a long sighting history up and down the east coast of Florida. Her movements illustrate how manatees use different habitat and various warm-water winter refuges over time. Male manatees usually travel more extensively than females, but Millie is showing us that some female manatees can swim just as far!

Millie was first seen at the Orlando Utility Company Power Plant in Brevard County (now closed) in February of 1980. Between 1980 and 1991, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Sirenia Project (USGS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) primarily saw her overwintering in Brevard County on Florida’s east coast and at the Port Everglades Power Plant in Ft. Lauderdale. Researchers gave her the ID number “BC200” for Brevard County #200. Millie is identifiable by an hourglass-shaped scar on her head and her forked tail—the result of a watercraft collision.

In November of 1991, Millie first showed up at Blue Spring State Park in the Upper St. John’s River. At this time, Wayne Hartley, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Specialist, gave her the ID number “BS133” for Blue Spring #133. At the time, she had a male calf in tow named Murphy. In February 1992, Millie was observed eating fall asters from the riverbank at Blue Spring. She had to stretch her head and shoulders out of the water to reach them near the springhead—a rare sight!

A close-up of the tail of Millie the manatee, which was injured. A piece of it is missing, making the tail appear fluked like that of a dolphin. Several white scars are also visible on her tail and body.
Millie is a very large manatee and can easily be identified by her forked tail.

Over the years, Millie has had nine known calves. Her first known calf was in 1985 and the most recent calf was in 2004. During the 1993–1994 season at Blue Spring, Millie brought in a female calf named Michelle. While Michelle has not been sighted since the 2013–2014 season, she has given birth to six known calves—making Millie a grandmother! In winter 1998–1999, Millie brought in a male calf named Milford, who also visits Blue Spring during the winter. During the 2014–2015 season, Millie was observed at Blue Spring nursing an orphan.

To date, Millie has been sighted nearly every winter at the Port Everglades Power Plant, the Cape Canaveral Power and Light Power Plant in Brevard County, and Blue Spring and other springs in the Upper St. John’s River region. She has also had a few summer sightings in the Silver River, which is located near Ocala, Florida. Millie’s story is a good example of how manatees can travel long distances and use both fresh- and saltwater habitat. It also shows why it is so important to protect different areas of manatee habitat.

If you happen to visit Blue Spring State Park or one of the viewing centers along the East Coast of Florida during manatee season, keep an eye out for Millie and see if you can identify her from her obvious scars—she just may show up! You can also check our Blue Spring webcams for updates on the latest news on Millie and the other Blue Spring manatees.

You can adopt Millie or other manatees!
Each person who adopts her will receive a biography, adoption certificate, and membership handbook. They will also receive a subscription to The Manatee Zone, a newsletter featuring any updates on the adopted manatees, 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).