Manatees – Gentle Giants

Manatees – Gentle Giants

Ambience: Paddling, Kayak.

So there I was, kayaking on a river in south Florida, when I noticed what I first thought was a log floating by me underwater. Then I saw the tail, looked like a mermaid’s tail, and realized I was getting my first glimpse of a manatee in the wild. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. I was soon to meet up with Pat Rose, an aquatic biologist and executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, at Homosassa State Park – a great place to see manatees.

Rose: I’ve been working with manatees for over 40 years. One of the things I was attracted to is they’re absolutely docile. They can’t be aggressive. The worst thing they can do is swim away from you. The mother of a calf might swim between you and its calf, but they’re never going to attack you. They can’t be mean; they’re not aggressive; and they need us to protect them.

Rose: Manatees have no real enemies, other than the fact that man has been the one that’s hunted them literally almost to extinction, and still kills many today by accidental strikes from boats – whether from propeller cuts, or from high speed impact. It’s quite important that we slow boats down in the most important manatee habitat.

Rose: When you’re boating in manatee habitat, we would ask you to be on the lookout for them – even if you don’t see them themselves. When they’re swimming and moving they’ll create flat spots on the water that look like little ripples and you”ll know a manatee’s there. If you watch what direction, you can tell which direction they’re going.
It’s good wear polarized sunglasses as well so if you can see into the water, that can be very helpful. And pay attention to the signs, because there’s many different signs out there to warn you that you’re in an area either that’s regulated to slow down, or not regulated but you should be watching out for them.

We’ll hear more about manatees in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Manatees - Gentle Giants

They have no enemies - except for people in boats.
Air Date:04/27/2016
Scientist:
Transcript:

Manatees - Gentle Giants

Ambience: Paddling, Kayak.

So there I was, kayaking on a river in south Florida, when I noticed what I first thought was a log floating by me underwater. Then I saw the tail, looked like a mermaid's tail, and realized I was getting my first glimpse of a manatee in the wild. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. I was soon to meet up with Pat Rose, an aquatic biologist and executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, at Homosassa State Park - a great place to see manatees.

Rose: I've been working with manatees for over 40 years. One of the things I was attracted to is they're absolutely docile. They can't be aggressive. The worst thing they can do is swim away from you. The mother of a calf might swim between you and its calf, but they're never going to attack you. They can't be mean; they're not aggressive; and they need us to protect them.

Rose: Manatees have no real enemies, other than the fact that man has been the one that's hunted them literally almost to extinction, and still kills many today by accidental strikes from boats - whether from propeller cuts, or from high speed impact. It's quite important that we slow boats down in the most important manatee habitat.

Rose: When you're boating in manatee habitat, we would ask you to be on the lookout for them - even if you don't see them themselves. When they're swimming and moving they'll create flat spots on the water that look like little ripples and you''ll know a manatee's there. If you watch what direction, you can tell which direction they're going.
It's good wear polarized sunglasses as well so if you can see into the water, that can be very helpful. And pay attention to the signs, because there's many different signs out there to warn you that you're in an area either that's regulated to slow down, or not regulated but you should be watching out for them.

We'll hear more about manatees in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.