The experience of swimming with manatees means having gentle, large and non-aggressive marine animals as buddies, as well as learning more about their life and habitat. Manatees are located in their natural environment, therefore you will be the guest in their own world, but they will welcome you without feeling threatened, just as if they were naïf creatures with good hearts. Even if they may have slow movements, that doesn’t mean you won’t have great moments with them.
We are not very used to these marine creatures as we are to dolphins or sea lions, but swimming with manatees will give you interesting information about them, their habitat, reproduction and nursing. There are few places in the world where you can have this experience, but if you are lucky enough to swim with them, most programs include a funny manatee kiss from their upper lip -that acts like a shortened trunk similar to an elephant’s- that will probably give you tickles. And finally you will have the chance to feed them while they hold you to get closer. Remember that they eat 100% vegetables; they are like a big marine lettuce.
Live the experience of swimming with manatees in Sea Life Discovery Plus program.
Manatees are aquatic mammals with a gentile, docile, curious and slow “personality”, also known as sea cows because of their totally vegetarian diet –not because of their physical appearance-. They have a paddle-shaped tail, two flippers with nails, a large body, and a brownish-gray colored skin; they breathe through nostrils, like seals and have funny whiskers on their snout.
Manatees are known to be gathered in warm and shallow waters, specially slow rivers, saltwater bays and coastal areas. Due to their low body fat they are susceptible to cold temperatures, therefore they migrate in winter through springs and estuaries. They are always resting, eating, and traveling. Actually, because of the manatee’s original location, the word “manatí” comes from the Taino’s, pre-columbian people of the Caribbean, meaning “breast”.
These creatures belong to the “Sirenia” family, having elephants, hyraxes and aardvarks as close relatives. There are 3 common types of manatees: the West Indian Manatee inhabits the shallow waters of rivers and coastlines of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the Amazonian Manatee inhabits the Amazon Basin, and finally the West African Manatee in West Africa.