INDIAN SHORES, Fla. (FOX 13) - A lone manatee just wanted to spend a day at the beach, and very few people seemed to notice it swimming in the shallow waters off of Indian Shores.
On Sunday, Michael McCarty, with the See Through Canoe Company, recorded as the manatee slowly swam by dozens of beach goers. He said only a few people saw it.
Two people tossed a football back-and-forth as the manatee lingered between the two, and it even coasted by paddle boarders and kayakers. It seemed to be a peaceful day at the beach for the manatee.
Manatees are protected under Florida and federal laws. In early 2017, they were reclassified from endangered to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, if you a manatee, you should keep your distance and observe them “passively.” Officials also said don’t feed them or give them water.
“If manatees become accustomed to being around people, they can alter their behavior in the wild, perhaps causing them to lose their natural fear of boats and humans, which may make them more susceptible to harm,” according to the FWC website.
For more information on manatee viewing guidelines, head over to FWC’s website.