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A dozen manatees gathering by N. Jetty were thought to be in distress by some people tonight

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Suncoast photographer Cindy Desmond sent pictures to ABC7 of a gathering of dozen manatees near the N. Jetty tonight.

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Manatees Mating

A dozen manatees spotted near Venice

Some concerned bystanders, called Mote Marine thinking they may be in distress due to the red tide. 

According to Cindy, Mote told them they were "ok" and just doing their normal mating ritual.

You can't blame the people for being concerned about the mammals considering how bad the red tide has been as of late.

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Manatees

Natural mating scene

This from the "Save The Manatee" web site on the mating practices of the gentle sea cows.

Manatees do not form permanent pair bonds like some animal species.

During breeding, a single female, or cow, will be followed by a group of a dozen or more males or bulls, forming a mating herd.

They appear to breed indiscriminately during this time; however, age experience of some males in the herd probably plays a role in breeding success.

Although breeding and birth may occur at any time during the year, there appears to be a broad spring-summer calving peak.

Thanks Cindy for sending the photos in.

Bob Harrigan

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