PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Manatee gives birth near Siesta Harbor

photo ID of U2494 with 2015 calf taken on 05_06_16 - credit Mote Marine Laboratory Manatee Research Program, USFWS Research Permit #MA100361.png
Courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
/

Watch a manatee give birth, courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

manatee-gives-birth-near-siesta-harbor-on-april-12-2021-robert-and-cindy-burnett-1.mp4

Mote sent the following in a press release:

Cindy Burnett was at home in Siesta Harbor on April 12, 2021 when she noticed a manatee acting strangely in the water. Burnett is a volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, and knew to immediately call Mote’s Standing Investigations Program (SIP) 24/7 hotline (888-345-2335) to report the behavior. While on the phone with Staff Biologist Amber Lea Kincaid, everyone realized the manatee was in a different kind of distress that human moms will understand: the manatee was giving birth!

manatee gives birth near Siesta Harbor on April 12 2021 - credit Robert and Cindy Burnett (2) (1).mp4

“I was really glad they called us and shared the video with us,” said Kincaid. “Whenever someone sees a sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in distress in Sarasota or Manatee counties, they should immediately call our hotline, and never attempt to assist any animal. Taking videos is also very helpful for us, so when we arrive on scene, we can be prepared for what’s going on. And in this case, we knew that we didn’t need to respond at all!”

manatee gives birth near Siesta Harbor on April 12 2021 - credit Robert and Cindy Burnett (3).mp4

The manatee mom was identified by Mote’s Manatee Research Program (MRP), which conducts photo-identification surveys and contributes to a statewide database of cataloged manatees. By using the unique scars on their backs and tails, many of which are caused by watercraft interactions, researchers can identify individual manatees and learn about their life histories (reproduction and mortality), habitats they like to frequent and why, behaviors, and more.

manatee gives birth near Siesta Harbor on April 12 2021 - credit Robert and Cindy Burnett (4).mp4

Learn more about Mote Laboratory and Marine Aquarium.