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November, 2016 was...

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As much as animals like elephants are currently under threat in Central Africa, whales, manatees and turtles, to name a few, are probably in far more dire peril — and almost nobody knows.”
– Peter Walsh

The manatee is a glorious creature, peaceful and patient, happily grazing on the broad variety of foods that exist within their aquatic home. They are a popular and well loved feature of the places they inhabit, serving as a sort of mascot for visitors and serving as a great draw for tourists. However, manatee aren’t the only creatures that love and adore the water, and they often find themselves in danger from their human fans, unable to move out of the way of the speedboats. Manatee Awareness Month reminds us that we aren’t the only creature in our watery play spaces.

History of Manatee Awareness Month
Manatee really are just wonderfully gentle creatures, but they aren’t at all quick, and certainly not quick enough to avoid the speedboats that often share their homes. Our use of the watery environments they live in leads to all sorts of interactions that are less than optimal to a happy manatee. The speedboat propellers often chew up their backs and cause grievous harm, and even those who appreciate them and try to keep them safe can bring them harm.

Feeding manatees, petting them, and even trying to ride them are all things that happen from overzealous tourists, but these can disrupt the natural day to day life of the manatee and impact their ability to survive. Manatee Awareness Month works to spread the news about these wonderful creatures and how to live side by side with them without bringing them harm or otherwise leading to their already endangered status becoming worse. After all, a future without manatee is a sad future indeed.

How to celebrate Manatee Awareness Month
Manatee Awareness Day is best spent showing your love and appreciation of the gentle sea cow, the manatee. If you live in a place where manatee inhabit the local waters, then go out and help educate people on how to interact with them. Few people truly wish to bring them harm, but these large and friendly creatures often attract the well-meaning, help them know how to truly support the manatee. If you live far from these gentle beauties, then you can learn on the internet, study in your local library, or even work to collect money to donate to those organizations that work to protect them.

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