Manatee Manatee
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Ranger Wayne's Field Notes

Ranger Wayne Hartley

To: Journey North
From: Ranger Wayne Hartley

Season Summary:
25 January 1999

What a season! The manatees set a record for late arrival, 15 December 1998. The latest they had been before was 7 December several years ago. As a result with the Christmas holidays and the Manatee Festival coming so quickly I don't have them sorted out completely yet. I know I have a record number. I'm using a conservative estimate of 110 right now. I would rather add a couple to the record than subtract. I have shot and developed thirty rolls of slides and when I get a chance to look at them I will be able to make the final decisions on who is really new or returned. I can say that we have a new record of ten calves for the season.

Lilly has a calf that just like her last one doesn't stay around her much. Is it hers or is it not? Decided it was. Same question with Success but a different answer. Success has adopted a foster son that is undoubtedly a yearling with some serious but not life-threatening injuries. Phyllis looked in eight and one half months after giving birth to Phire in the spring boil and Phire was no longer with her. That, it is generally agreed, is not good. I may have to call Phire dead.

Deep Dent is named for deep dents in his tail. He now has deep dents in his head as well. Lucille did not receive any noticeable new injuries but an old one altered. The lower half of her right flipper came off at the old line entanglement. On the one hand that is awful but now she won't get any more line or other junk in the terrible groove she used to have. Griswald has an awful skeg cut about four and one half feet long on his right side but will be alright. Ismael has three big prop cuts in his left rear side followed by a skeg cut on the left edge of his tail. Crusty was gone for two years and sometime during that time he got quite a large pie section taken out of his left side of his tail. Hood has a new large white scar on his tail. Jessica has a three prop with skeg scar over her shoulders and a line entanglement on her left flipper, the one with a "V" shaped injury at the end. Rachel has about sixteen small propeller cuts down her left side. Elsie has a fairly bad skeg cut on her lower back. Jethro has a new white scar in the left center of his back. Logan has a bad hit consisting of five deep prop cuts in his lower left side and a skeg cut on his tail. Basinger has eight prop scars that run right over his head, five of them deep. Bartram is the other major injury with a complex of prop cuts on his left rear and tail. Many minor injuries of course.

During the year two were killed by boats within ten miles of the park, Shane and Tiffany. The animal rescued with cold stress last January died at Sea World after appearing to be recovering well. Not uncommon with cold stress. Two other Blue Spring numbered animals were discovered to have died in past years, Hector, boat kill 1984 and Polk, manmade object ingestion in 1997. The first at Daytona Beach and the second in Indian River Lagoon.

Georgia is back with Peaches and will remain tagged until she weans him. She can still be a pain trying to get to people but she is 90% better and may become a real manatee yet! Note: after my reports to Journey North were in, Georgia gave birth to Peaches on 6 May and has been an excellent mother.

Ranger Wayne Hartley
Blue Spring State Park
Orange City, FL

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