Sometimes you are enjoying a leisurely paddle boarding adventure off the coast of Florida when a friendly manatee comes up and wants to have a chat. That is exactly what happened to Celine Chasteen and her friend when a curious manatee swam and pulled up to them to relax and kick it for a bit. The manatee amazingly looks almost like a human in a manatee wet suit. The paddle boarders were of course a little nervous at first but kept their cool. They did the right thing by just observing the manatee but not touching or pursuing it (which the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would like to remind people is against the law). Manatees are a protected species and in particular, the Florida manatee is an endangered species. Their numbers have been reduced over the years to an estimated 3000-4000 due to hunting and more recently, deaths from boating collisions, toxic chemicals and fishing equipment and other machinery. They can live quite long otherwise, over 30 years in the wild and one captive manatee, “Snooty”, lived for 69 years!
Friendly Manatee Climbs Aboard to Surprise Paddleboarders