After our boat trip, we took a walk to the diving platform to watch the manatees. When we lived in the Tampa/St. Pete/Safety Harbor area, we saw Manatees all the time, and it was heart breaking. They are big, stupid, clumsy animals who do no harm. They love to congregate where there is warm water on a cold winter’s night. Sadly, these slow moving sea cows are often hit and damaged by boaters; the blades of the motors scarring the manatees, often wounding them fatally. They have no defense against the casual, callous cruelty of the oblivious boater.
Here, in Wakulla Springs, they are safe. The only boats allowed in the Springs areas have caged blades; they cannot hurt the manatees.
No, only people can hurt them.
As we were watching the manatee, there was a family there. I try not to judge parents; parenting is hard. I will just make some observations. It was 40 degrees F – not that far from freezing – and the two little girls were dressed in beach clothes and their feet were bare. They were running on the diving platform, while Mom was trying to take photos of the manatees with her iPhone, and dad was trying to keep the little ones rounded up. On the second level, two stories above the ground, one little girl, maybe four years old, runs out to the edge of the diving platform and her dad snatches her back, just in time, as mom continues trying to film the manatees. All this is their business, although I fear for little girls who are raised carelessly, it is not my business.
Then, the older little girl reached down in her pockets and pulled out handsfull of breadcrumbs, which she spread into the water WHILE HER PARENTS WATCHED. Did you not see the signs? Did you not hear the guides? We are not to feed the manatees anything! Bread and breadcrumbs are not a part of their diet! Parents, what are you using for brains? ? ?
No. I did not say anything; I don’t look for trouble. I write it in this blog, and then, God willing, I let it go.
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