Meet A Manatee: Phyllis

In 1991, she gave birth to twins: a rare event for manatees

Updated October 2, 2022

Phyllis the manatee moves along the bed of Blue Spring.
Phyllis is a friendly manatee, the mother of several calves, and has often earned the title of “Attendance Champion” at Blue Spring State Park.

In general, the reproductive rate for manatees is low. One calf is usually born every two to five years, and twins are rare. For this reason, it was very exciting when Phyllis arrived at Blue Spring on November 5, 1991, with not just one, but two calves! Her twin boys were named Bartram and Bertram after a famous Florida explorer of the nearby St. Johns River and a noted manatee researcher. Both calves are quite grown up now! Phyllis has had several calves since then, even giving birth at Blue Spring State Park in August 2020.

When her own calves are not keeping her busy, Phyllis regularly nurses other young manatees. This is not unusual, as female manatees will often look after and nurse the calves of other mothers. Phyllis is a regular visitor to Blue Spring during the cold winter months, and she often comes in more times than the other manatees. In fact, she has earned the title of “Attendance Champion” several times. From time to time, she will even come to visit the spring during the summer months. Phyllis is a playful, friendly manatee who likes to socialize with other manatees.

During manatee season, check our Blue Spring webcams for updates on the latest news on Phyllis and other Blue Spring manatees.

You can adopt Phyllis or other manatees!
Each person who adopts her 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.
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For more information or to view other manatees available for adoption, visit the Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).