REDINGTON BEACH, Fla. - A group of manatees, including a baby one, were spotted close to shore at a Florida beach, video shows.
FOX 35 spoke to viewer Mandy Staley, who spotted the manatees on May 10th at Redington Beach.
She said that she saw at least five manatees, including one baby. They stayed close to shore for about an hour, keeping the same distance but swimming slowly around.
"We were very surprised! It was amazing," Mandy said. "We have never seen a manatee in its natural habitat. It’s funny because we were actually going to book a boat ride that takes you to look for manatees and dolphins and such and we ended up not having to."
According to SaveTheManatee.com, manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas. They basically go where seagrass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. They are also said to be migratory, so they spend time in Florida in the winter but in the summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts.
Manatees are reportedly known to be slow-moving and gentle, spending much of their time eating, resting, and traveling. They eat mostly seagrass and other aquatic but sometimes they munch on small fish and invertebrates too. They are known to rest sometimes just below the surface of the water, coming up to breathe on average every three to five minutes. However, if using a great deal of energy, you may see them every 30 seconds.
Unfortunately, SaveTheManatee.com says that loss of habitat is a serious threat against manatees in the United States. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that manatee deaths in Florida are on pace for its highest number in a decade. The largest number of those deaths come from Brevard County.
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.