It was interesting that not only are the manatees related to the elephant, but look where both of them feed their babies from. You have to wonder how many "Wild Kingdom" shows we watched and never realized that about elephants...did anyone else know?
Of course none of us has total recall anymore (haha), but I think the park person said they counted about 80 of them the day we were there, all huddled up in a pretty small area. (There were quite a few babies in there, too!)
Walking along the inlet, leading to the open sea, quite a few people were in boats and canoes just toodling around with the manatees nearby. You can see in the 2nd and 3rd pics here that they are almost on top of them.
And you have to watch this video to see a big manatee come up from the bottom and bump a baby out of its way. Pretty cool!
Another day we headed to a spot called the Six Mile Cypress Slough (pronounced 'slew'), an 11-mile long wetland habitat not far from us that is supposed to be one of the top tourist spots in and around Ft Myers. Terry and Connie (from Indiana), joined Gayle, Yvette, Cathy and me on what turned out to be about a 1-mile walk on a boardwalk through what looked like a scene out of the movie Deliverance. And again, we were not disappointed.
We heard in the visitor's center that there were both baby alligators and baby pigs in here, so we were hoping to be lucky and get to see them.
This was the 1st alligator we came upon, but there were no babies in sight, so we pressed on.
Fortunately, we didn't have very far to go before we saw a crowd gathered at the railing and came upon momma and her brood of 10-12 babies. She actually had them out-of-season for some reason, so we were more than lucky to get to experience this. They were no more than maybe 5-10 ft from us, but you still had to search at first to actually spot the babies...they are well camouflaged in the weeds.
A couple short clips to show you one baby moving and the 2nd one here shows how small they are in comparison to mom.
A Great Blue Heron, which we have seen before, but what we didn't know about them is that they eat baby alligators...YIKES! I hope the babies lay low!!!
And talk about this being our lucky day, before you knew it we were practically on top of a bunch of baby pigs...I swear, they couldn't be more cute...like little puppies! There were probably about a dozen of these also, and you can see better how small they are in the video.
The 1st pic here is the mother, but with nothing in the picture to compare her size to, you have to take my word for it! haha
This black bird is called an Anhinga, don't know what the tall white bird is called but it was pretty (haha), and the short white bird is an Ibis.
The tall white bird seemed to be stalking some lunch, but the Ibis messed up his plans.
Another bird I don't know the name of, but pretty nonetheless!
So those were our own personal trips to the Wild Kingdoms of the Ft Myers area, leaving us all pretty happy that we got to see so many babies! Not sure what is left on the sightseeing to-do list, but we'll share it if we see anything good.
Until then, everyone stay warm, the winter will be over soon enough, and it will be so hot here we will all have to leave!!! haha