ACTIVE MANATEES: Herds mating in Dog River

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Many residents on Dog River have seen tons of manatees out this season. Stephanie Eades Williamson has lived here for over 19 years and says, “We have definitely identified, with the help of the Manatee Sighting Network, a breeding herd of 8 to 10 manatees. So they have been coming around and sticking around for awhile and putting on a show for us.”

Williamson also says their dog has a special bark when a manatee is spotted so they know to go outside to look. She also adds that this season has been a little bit different than past years explaining, “Usually they are just traveling through and we see maybe 4 or 5 at a time. This is different as in large in numbers as well as how much time they are spending.”

The Manatee Sighting Network says based on the photos and videos they’ve received, they believe this is a mating herd which is why they have been so active. A mating herd normally consists of a focal female and a bunch of male suitors. They believe that this focal female is a well-known manatee in this area named ‘Bama’.

Elizabeth Hieb with the Manatee Sighting Network explains, “Bama has a really distinct triangular scar on her left side. We know her quite well. She is the first manatee that our program ever tagged in Alabama waters back in 2009.”

Remember, when a manatee is spotted report it to the network and give the animal space. They can be reached at this 24-hour phone line: 1-866-493-5803, its website with an online reporting form: manatee.disl.org, or email address: manatee@disl.org. That phone line is also the number you would call in cases of injured, stranded, or deceased manatees in both Alabama and Mississippi. 

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