Two New Manatees Added To Adoption Program
By Nancy Sadusky,
Online Communications Director,
Save the Manatee Club
In January, Save the Manatee Club (SMC) added two new manatees to the Adopt-A-Manatee program. The most recent adoptees are named Electra and Gator. Electra is a resident at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida, and Gator is a winter visitor at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida.
Electra was rescued in 1998 near Titusville on Florida’s Atlantic coast. She had suffered trauma because of a boat strike and had scar tissue on both flippers due to entanglement in a crab trap. She was brought to Sea World in Orlando where she underwent medical treatment. At the time, she was estimated to be five years old. Electra had spinal injuries from the boat strike, which caused some buoyancy issues. The decision was made to place her with the manatees at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park so wildlife care staff could supervise her progress. When Electra first arrived at the park, she bonded with Rosie, another Save the Manatee Club adoptee. Rosie would swim below Electra and guide her to the water’s surface to breathe until Electra could do this on her own. Sadly, Rosie recently passed away in December 2015 of natural causes due to her advanced age. But Electra still lives with Lorelei and Ariel, two other manatees at the park. Electra is the smallest of the three manatees, and she is also the youngest. Despite her size, however, she is described by park staff as being “spunky.”
When Gator was a young, juvenile manatee, he was captured on Save the Manatee Club’s webcam chasing and playing with an alligator at Blue Spring State Park. From then on, he was known as Gator! People often think that alligators may be a threat to manatees, but an alligator has never been observed behaving aggressively toward an adult manatee. In fact, sometimes it’s the manatee that initiates the interaction. That curious manatee would be Gator.
Although the exact date of Gator’s birth is not known, it is believed he was among a group of unidentifiable yearling manatees seen at Blue Spring during the 2010-2011 winter season. Manatee researchers use scars to identify manatees, and unfortunately, Gator is easy to identify. He has six large propeller cuts from a boat hit down his right rear side. Sadly, Gator was hit by a boat again at the end of January 2012, and his new scar consists of three propeller cuts and a large skeg cut — almost in the exact same location as the previous scar.
Wayne Hartley, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Specialist who tracks the manatees at Blue Spring, describes Gator as “a bit of a runt.” Gator is small in size. His playful behavior is frequently noted, both by researchers at the park and as seen on webcam footage.
Electra and Gator are ambassadors for all manatees, and when you adopt one of them, you are helping all manatees to survive. Each person who adopts Electra or Gator 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, SMC’s bi-monthly e-newsletter. For more information about adopting Electra or Gator, go to Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee page, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). A memorial adoption for Rosie is also available for new and renewing members.
Watch video of Gator the manatee as he follows an alligator around the Blue Spring run. He even follows the alligator when it sinks below the surface of the water! (Video © Save the Manatee Club)
Watch video of Electra the manatee as she feeds, surfaces to breathe and swims throughout the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Plus,some cute closeups! (Video © Save the Manatee Club)
Get More Info
- Adopt Electra and Gator now or choose a memorial adoption for Rosie.
- Watch Manatee Webcams at Blue Spring State Park.
- Discover Blue Spring State Park.
- Learn more about the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
- Get more Manatee Information