Spring’s latest arrival

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Glancing at the world above

By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

It took the manatees several minutes to approach the dock on the spring run at Fanning Springs State Park Thursday morning. Several stout mammals, two bearing scars from the props of boats, waited until a small motorboat made its way back out to the Suwannee.
Once the sea cows arrived a few feet from the dock, a dozen people stood gathered above them pointing fingers and camera phones. A miniature version of the two larger creatures, almost blue and without the growth of algae or prop scars on its back, revealed itself from behind its mother by popping its head above the shimmering spring water to snort and take a breath of fresh air. The calf was the first to be seen at the park this spring.
Fanning and Manatee Springs Park Manager Sally Lieb said it always makes her feel good to see young manatees at the parks.
“It’s gratifying to know we are protecting the springs as much as we can within the park. Whenever we see a calf like this it just reinforces how important protecting the springs is. They (manatee mothers) bring them here as a safe zone.”

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