The perfect Mother's Day gift for mom may just be the adorable sea cow.
Let us explain.
This year, the Save the Manatee Club is offering the chance to adopt a manatee. Your mom or mother figure will receive an adoption adoption certificate, photo, and biography for a real, live manatee who's studied by state research teams and who has a known history that's traced through—appropriately—female matriarchs.
But wait, there's more! According to the Save the Manatee Club, mother manatees give birth to calves once every two to five years, following a gestation period of about 12 months. Calves stay with and nurse from their mothers for up to two years, during which time she teaches them about migratory routes, warm water sources, and feeding grounds. Manatees rely on the knowledge they learn from their mothers for the rest of their lives.
There's another reason to support Florida manatees, too. In 2021, 1,101 manatees died, mostly due to starvation. Experts cite toxic algae blooms, which populate the water and reduce water clarity, as the culprit. When the water gets murky, the sun can’t stream in, so vegetation—like sea grass, a manatee’s favorite meal—cannot grow. According to the Save the Manatee Club, there only about 6,000 manatees in all of Florida. In January, CBS News reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classified the surge in deaths as an unusual mortality event (UME) meaning that the issue "demands immediate response." Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget will include $30 million for manatee rehabilitation and habitat restoration.
Funds from the Adopt-A-Manatee program go directly to Save the Manatee Club's mission to protect manatees and their habitat, including emergency rescue, rehabilitation and release efforts; education and public awareness programs; and other critical work.
Manatee adoptions start at $25 and also include a one-year Save the Manatee Club membership. Personalized adoption certificates are emailed instantly.For more information, click here.