So since I was like 12 or 13, I’ve had this fascination with Manatees. Most people have probably seen images of them before due to Florida’s marketing. But just in case you haven’t, or if you don’t know the connection between the animals and the image, here you go:
Manatees are often called sea cows, though they’re actually closer related to elephants than cows. They’re herbivorous mammals, meaning they eat vegetation and breathe air, and they give bith to live young. They’re an endangered species because they are slow swimmers and when they come up for air they are often run over by psycho boaters who are speeding along like hell is on their heels.
There. Now you have a crash course in manatees.
I first found out about them when I was young and bought a book from the Wild at Heart book series that dealt with a young girl who goes to Florida to learn how to work with manatees.
This book has found its way into other areas of my life too, but that’s a post for another time. Point is, I thought manatees were really really cool. Goes to show how un-cool I was as a child (and still am!) that I read about a blubberous aquatic mammal and became totally amazed. Anyways. It prompted me to do a lot of studying. I even did a speech on it for 4-H.
Since that day when I read that book, I decided that manatees are one of my favorite animals on either land or sea, and I wanted to see at least one in real life for myself. That has been on my bucket list about as long as “go to the Colliseum” has been. That means, a long time.
So today, when my brothers saw a manatee swim right by in the canal while they were fishing and I didn’t….. I leave to your imagination that internal fury/disappointment that gripped me.
Fact is, every single year that we come to Florida I am hoping that this will be the year that I can go see manatees, or else catch sight of one in the wild. Every time we go past areas where there are signs that say: “25 MPH, Manatee Zone” I have my eyes basically glued to the window, staring and hoping that I will see the nose of a manatee coming up for air. The other hope I have is that someday, we’ll be able to go to some place that offers tours or whatever where you get to actually see manatees. Or an aquatic zoo. Or ANYthing where I can see them. But the problem with that is, when it comes to the rest of my family, going to see manatees is probably the lowest thing on their list of things they’d pay to do in Florida. So I am outnumbered.
It stinks though, because I want to see one so badly and I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance. They’re nice animals that are so ugly they’re adorable. Maybe that’s a reoccuring thing in my life, considering that my favorite dog is this alien right here:
Hmmm. Yeah. I’ll go with the idea that I have the super ugly = cute syndrome.
Anyways, back to manatees. I guess I’ll just have to keep hoping that someday I’ll get to see one in real life.
But at least my brothers recognized what it WAS when they saw it swim by. So I suppose my mission has been sucessful.