How to Swim with Manatees

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 86,255
    In Crystal River, outside of Orlando, Fl people are welcomed as well as educated on swimming with Manatees, a herbivorous marine mammal that has become a popular endangered species over time.

    Ivan Vicente: This is the only site in all of Florida in the winter time where people actually can swim with a manatee and with that comes a great deal of responsibility, these are animals that are in danger species. The golden rule of thumb is to stay calm not moving motionless from any motionless when you are near manatees and the manatees appreciate that and what I mean by that is manatees find that highly curious. They actually interact with people that are on a dead man pose, people that are completely motionless on the surface of the water. Those are the people who actually get the opportunity of having a manatee come up to them. Michael Birns: We are very mindful that we are guest in the manatee's home. When they come in, they watch a video that's proved by the US fishing wildlife service and that explains exactly how to behave the do's, the don'ts.

    Very important is not to separating mother from a calf, not to dive down onto resting manatees. It's very important to avoid, surrounding animals, given the animals a ride away. Animals should be viewed from a distance. Engaging in any interaction should be the animal's idea, not the person's idea, staying at the surface is always best versus diving down.

    Female Speaker: It was great, it was pretty awesome.

    Male Speaker: First time.

    Female Speaker: Yes, it was yeah, it was really good though, it's really good.

    Michael Birns: There is a computer behind me that's dedicated to do noting, but some of the most up to date research papers and pictures that the guests can go through. We've got a little entertainment center for the children, little lights up with a little quizzing games for them.

    So by the time they are done here, we hope that they have learned quite a bit about the manatees, keened a greater appreciation for the Manatees and their habitat and been basically odd by the spectacular nature of the animal.

    John Audubon once said that you will only protect what you love and you will only love what you know, so all of this, the end result is just to get them to know the manatees better.