We Are Extremely Excited About These Baby Manatee Twins
These lovely, rare creatures are twin baby manatees, swimming with their mother.
The happy little family was spotted at Florida’s Homosassa Springs — where swimming and snorkeling with the endangered, enormous, vegetarian creatures is legal (though advocacy group Save the Manatees advises obeying anti-harassment guidelines).
The person who took this video July 11 and posted it to Facebook is Gene Parker, who has a job title that also makes us swoon: manatee tour guide.
Parker said in his Facebook post that he’s “been doing this for almost 15 years everyday and never seen a new born twins in the wild.”
“It was almost like she was showing off her newborns,” Parker told Bay News 9 of the twins’ mother.
Dr. Katie Tripp, Save the Manatees’ director of science and conservation, tells The Huffington Post that twins only occur “about 1 percent of the time. Always a special occurrence.”
Other sources put twins at 2 percent of births. Either way: quite rare, especially in a place with lots of visitors.
“It is a big deal only because when twins are are in the infant stage, they aren’t commonly found in places where humans live or roam,” said Ivan Vicente, visitor services specialist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Boating accidents do account for many manatee deaths, but the family is safe where they are due to speed restrictions, he says.
The manatees will face a more challenging environment in a few weeks, when the mother likely will move herself and her brood into the Gulf of Mexico.
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