Manatees put on show for Naples Pier visitors

Manatees put on quite the show at one Southwest Florida beach. On Monday, those at Naples Pier got an incredible surprise.

WINK News was told that it’s manatee mating season and the animals are out and about.

Maycie Cooper lives in Naples. “Have you guys ever seen anything like this before? No, never in my whole life. It’s so cool,” Cooper said.

It was taking place right on the beach.

Karen Gaul was in Naples too. “So many people are just in awe of it,” Gaul said.

Cheryl described it as s dream come true. “and we were supposed to go to Sanibel today changed our plans and came here, and I’m a huge fan of manatees, so this is like a dream come true.

A pod of about 10 to 15 manatees were mating at the Naples Pier on Monday, which, of course, created quite the crowd.

“It’s very educational because the more you talk to everyone we are just learning more about it,” Cheryl said.

Mating season between manatees is from late spring into the summer months. An FWC biologist says, they can get pretty feisty in the waters.

Andy Garrett is Florida Fish and Wildlife’s manatee rescue coordinator. “You can have upwards of 1 female, and we’ve seen 20 manatee males trying to mate with a single female,” Garrett said. “They try to go underneath her to mate with her, and she goes into shallow water because she’s trying to get away from them.”

“We felt bad for the female we were like this poor girl she’s just being attacked by all these males,” Cooper said.

With red tide plaguing our coastline these past few months, everyone was excited to see the manatees being so active.

“That’s why they have to protect us from red tide and other things because we may not have this in the future if red tide gets out of hand,” Gaul said.

“We love seeing the animals are reproducing,” Garrett said.

People are hoping the algae blooms in the Gulf go away so that they continue witnessing the circle of life.

Sheila Cooper was with Maycie. “We got to see something that we probably will never see again,” she said.

“They got like super close to us and it was awesome unbelievable,” Cooper said.

Naples Police and volunteers from the conservancy were out today reminding people not to interfere with the manatees. If you ever do see manatees mating, in the water it’s best to let them be. They weigh quite a bit and it can be a danger to you if you get too close.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Drew Hill
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