WEIRD NEWS

We Are Extremely Excited About These Baby Manatee Twins

Manatee twins are both rare and adorable!

These lovely, rare creatures are twin baby manatees, swimming with their mother.

Mom's manatee with twins. I've been doing this for almost 15 years everyday and never seen a new born twins in the wild

Posted by Gene Parker on Saturday, July 11, 2015

The happy little family was spotted at Florida's Homosassa Springs -- where swimming and snorkeling with the endangered, enormous, vegetarian creatures is legal (though advocacy group Save the Manatees advises obeying anti-harassment guidelines).

The person who took this video July 11 and posted it to Facebook is Gene Parker, who has a job title that also makes us swoon: manatee tour guide.

Parker said in his Facebook post that he's "been doing this for almost 15 years everyday and never seen a new born twins in the wild." 

 “It was almost like she was showing off her newborns," Parker told Bay News 9 of the twins' mother. 

 

Dr. Katie Tripp, Save the Manatees' director of science and conservation, tells The Huffington Post that twins only occur "about 1 percent of the time. Always a special occurrence."

Other sources put twins at 2 percent of births. Either way: quite rare, especially in a place with lots of visitors.

"It is a big deal only because when twins are are in the infant stage, they aren't commonly found in places where humans live or roam," said Ivan Vicente, visitor services specialist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Boating accidents do account for many manatee deaths, but the family is safe where they are due to speed restrictions, he says.

The manatees will face a more challenging environment in a few weeks, when the mother likely will move herself and her brood into the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

Of course, for all the excitement, this trio still remains somewhat anonymous. The babies -- thought to be a week or two old in the video -- haven't been named. The mom, Vicente tells HuffPost, is known to humans very unsentimentally as CR707. 

Which may also be good news. The lack of a more personal name belies something of a charmed life thus far for this mother of twins, since most manatees don't get named until "they bear a scar of some sort," Vicente said. According to government reports, she was first spotted in 2008, and hasn't been seen with calves since 2011.

Parker, who hasn't seen the babies since the day after he took the video, tells HuffPost he still can't quite believe he was able to witness these animals firsthand, the "mother trusting us with her motherhood" by swimming so close to his boat with her babies.

 "It's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," he says. "I don't know what to say other than wow." 
 

Also on The Huffington Post: 

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