Manatee Sightings: June 2022

Date: May 11, 2022
By Cora Berchem,
Director of Multimedia & Manatee Research Associate

We are happy to announce that Blue Spring manatees “Gigi” and “Mata Hari” have brand-new little calves! Both mothers were recently seen with newborns in tow. They are both experienced moms and regular winter visitors at Blue Spring. In the summer they may stop by the park briefly as well.

Mata Hari the manatee with her newborn calf.
Mata Hari with her newborn calf on May 8, 2022.

Please keep in mind that when you see mothers and calves to give them space and observe from a distance. Calves depend on their moms for the first one to two years of their lives and cannot survive on their own.

Gigi the manatee with her calf.
Gigi and her little calf on April 24, 2022.

Recently, we also received a number of sightings of manatees in the Wekiva River. The Wekiva connects to the St. Johns River, so manatees have good access when water levels are high enough, and there seems to be a lot of vegetation in the river for them to feed on. Citizens reported these sightings at the beginning of May, which is extremely helpful to researchers to study how manatees use habitat. Our research team was able to identify several known Blue Spring manatees in the sightings, including adoptee Gator, as well as (non-adoptees) Swale, Pier, Skiper with her calf, Farman, Lance, Hazel, and John. Interestingly, Gator, Swale, and John were also seen at Blue Spring recently!

Manatees in the Wekiva River on May 2, 2022.
Manatees in the Wekiva River on May 2, 2022.
Manatees in the Wekiva River on May 2, 2022.
Another group photo from the Wekiva River on May 2, 2022.
Gator the manatee in the Wekiva River.
If you look closely at the manatee in the very back, you can discern the scars that identify Gator, seen in the Wekiva River on May 2, 2022.

Adoptee Margarito was also seen at Blue Spring on May 1st and adoptee Lily was seen by a citizen near Lake Monroe in the St. Johns River in April.

Lily was spotted near Lake Monroe in April.
In April, Lily was spotted in the St. Johns River near Lake Monroe.
Margarito the manatee.
Margarito visited Blue Spring State Park on May 1, 2022.

We encourage all citizens to report manatee sightings, both in the Wekiva as well as other Florida waterways to our online sighting form. Remember to report sick and injured manatees directly to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.