Well well well. This creature had to swim right past Guilford to get from Bridgeport to Clinton. And here I am at M's house for the week, I open my computer and see this story.
Movers came today. All went well. I'm exhausted.
Manatee spotted near Clinton marina
Friday, August 20, 2010
By Susan Misur
CLINTON—The state logged its first manatee sighting of the summer this week when one of the marine mammals was spotted swimming near Cedar Island Marina Friday and in Bridgeport and Fairfield Wednesday.
Janelle Schuh, a stranding coordinator with Mystic Aquarium who handles reports of distressed animals, said Mystic received calls about the animal and that there are usually one to three manatee sightings a year.
They typically occur in late summer and early fall, and it’s unknown why the animals come this far north, since they most likely come from Florida, Schuh added.
Some manatees routinely come north year after year, but Schuh said she is not yet sure if the one spotted this week is one that usually comes to the Connecticut shore. She added that she’ll be sending photos residents took of the manatee to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if it matches the description of any in its database.
“There are definitely cases where the same individual animals are seen in the northeast in year’s past and it’s just a normal route for them, so to speak,” Schuh said.
Schuh believes the manatee seen in Bridgeport and Fairfield earlier this week is the same one found in the Cedar Island Marina Friday because of the time frame and proximity of the towns.
On Friday, the manatee was swimming in Clinton in about three feet of water, which Schuh says was normal behavior, as the mammals usually stay close to the shore and eat off the ocean floor. She wasn’t sure if it was an adult, which could weigh around 1,000 pounds.
Mystic employees will observe manatees or other animals spotted near the shoreline to ensure they aren’t in need of rescue, Schuh said.
“We let them do what they’re going to do until they’re showing behaviorally that they need some sort of rescue,” she explained. “If it was really injured, we’d go help it, like if it had gotten struck by a boat.”
If people spot a manatee near the Connecticut shoreline, they shouldn’t give it fresh water or food because it will stay in the area, Schuh. As the weather and water gets colder, it could be dangerous for the manatee to remain here.
“They’ll hang out by side of people’s boats if there’s a fresh water hose going over the side and drink underneath that,” she added. “As great as is to continue watching a manatee, we don’t want them to stay in an area where there is a lot of boats. They get acclimated quickly once you start feeding and giving them water.”