Oh, the Hugged Manatee!

This little orphan isn’t a huge manatee, but she will be, thanks to the round-the-clock care of Sea World, which has rescued 23 manatees in 2010. The park hopes to return her to the wild once she’s big enough.

Nice work, Nick G. and everyone at Sea World.

Update: Scroll down for video! Thanks, X-girl!



  1. marthava says:

    She is quite blorptastic.

  2. tracylee says:

    I want oh so very badly for that to be my job please.

  3. I want to sqweesh her flubberiness!

  4. curious creature says:

    i was going to say the same thing tracylee

  5. Best. Job. Ever.

    Is it appropriate to plug the Save the Manatee Club, which has sent me a charming picture and update on my sponsored blorpette for over a decade now?

  6. Definitely in the “so ugly it’s cute” category. The little guy/girl looks like nothing so much as a sack of cement.

  7. knittinkitten says:

    I must point out that no one has mentioned the wheeskers. So cute! Such a happy leetle manatee! Good work guys!

  8. @Occula, thanks for the information. CO is one of the best places where I’ve learned about sites and organizations that help animals.

  9. Those manatee aren’t going to hug themselves!!!!

  10. And I think we’ve got another candidate for the Men of Cute Overload calendar, which I sincerely hope IS in the works for 2011!

  11. Hugged? I’m more concerned with the burping afterwards.

    Seriously cute. I’ve never seen such a little manatee.

  12. If you go to an afternoon show at Sea World, it’s a manatee matinee.

  13. fluffernugget says:

    Awww! Look a the little feller. I am a Florida resident and I am always thrilled to see these guys in the wild. They are the most docile and peaceful creatures not to mention super cute.

    oh and BLORP!

  14. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    fluffernugget: Ooh, you reminded me that I forgot to use the “Blorp” tag on this post. Thank you!

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby manatee before. I luff her! I wish I could find a job that was just snuggling and feeding baby animals all day 😛

  16. JeremyOLED says:

    Manatees: The sheep of the sea

  17. Stephanie says:

    Oh my super cute. I love manatees!

  18. i was told they were called “sea cows!” is that totally old-fashioned, @jeremy?

  19. O NO (he/she/or it) DI'UNT!!!!! says:

    YAY @ TUM!!!

    VERY very good ‘un, theah!!!!!

    oh and Ed’s — Multiple locations of wonderfulness/ Sea World. Laquelle ici??

  20. i LUV manatees! they’re so flippin adorable. ya’ll know shanalogic.com? weelll i hav their manatee neckalace and keychain! not to mention my stuffed animals, pins, t shirt, adopted manatee, and bracelet. I WANT THAT JOB!!! 😀 😀 😀

  21. The whiskers! My brain is done now. Sorry, midterm.

  22. Bettymouse says:

    Emily, I see your assorted manatee swag and raise you a manatee doorbell! (Only one in Massachusetts, I reckon.)
    Gotta love the squishy sweet manatees!

  23. Queen Zola says:

    OMG! Does anyone else want to stick their face in her tummy and give her the biggest Zerbot ever?!

  24. I’m all a blubber.

  25. Beagler says:

    OMG manatee squee! P.S. I demand more manatee coverage.

  26. (the original) Mel says:

    Blubber snorgle = blorgle.

  27. hurray!! i provide another plug for Save the Manatee Club–I get to sponsor a manatee with my same name!

  28. Hon Glad says:

    Oh dear what can the manatee
    Whiskers ‘n’ blorp
    Drives one to insanatee
    I ask you all, in the name of humanatee
    Can’t we all have a pair.

  29. Awww..I would love to experience feeding the little guy…so cute!

  30. But you forgot to include the video of her!!

  31. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    X-Girl: We heard that there was a video, but we didn’t get it. Thanks for posting that! 😀


  33. aquasaline says:

    You make it hard to get anything done! Nuthin’ cute like that at MY marine lab…

  34. omg so little! The video really brought it home.

    How cool that you get to sponsor Ariel, Ariel! Mine’s Dana. 🙂

  35. and, if I may add, I didn’t know baby blorpatees made ‘air biscuits’! Rules of Cuteness meets The More You Know ™.

  36. They are SO precious!!! Even the adults are squeezy-huggable.

  37. I wonder what they feed them? I know Purina manufactures Trout Chow; perhaps they make Manatee Formula too?

    *imagines mama manatee and nursing baby floating in the water* That would make for a good photo.

  38. Bettymouse and Emily, I raise you one manatee tattoo and being born in Manatee Memorial Hospital 😀 My sponsored manatee is Crazy Nick; he swims the wrong way when the waters get cold and all the other blorpatees swim south.. crazy!

  39. skippymom says:

    Watching the tailio action in the video, I can understand how a manatee could be mistaken for a mermaid.

  40. Francesca says:

    I love manatee’s. Sooo cute. But SOoooooOOOOoooOooo Dumb. I grew up in South Florida, and I remember watching them swim the canals underneath boats and they already had giant scars across their backs. All I could think was, “Why are you swimming under there you know better!?” So makes me sad 😦

  41. flutterbye says:

    OMSL! She is so prosh! The leetle flipperettes, teh wheeskers…a babeh blorpette in arms!

    Thank you for the video, X-girl, it really showed how tiny she is (relative to an adult, that is)!

  42. Meaghan – Captive adult manatees eat romaine lettuce. About $20,000. a year of romaine lettuce.

  43. Paigeygirl says:

    If it’s a little one, does that make it a Babytee? Cause it’s obviously not yet a full grown Manatee.

  44. Yet another animal adventure to add to my bucket list. *scribble-scribble* Must cuddle baby manatee.

    But honestly as much as I love this precious manatee it’s very bittersweet knowing she’s oprhaned. Very sad. 😦 And yet very happy for good people like this! 😀

    Really, is there anything sexier than a man taking care of wildlife? I look at these clips and others like those from HSUS and my heart just bursts seeing the big, strong men rescuing animals. People can be so awesome.

  45. AuntieMame says:

    I hope they name her Barbara.

  46. Melinda says:

    Aww, she’s so cute! The poor little baby already has scars on her back. That makes me sad. I hate to see any of these beautifully blorpular animals hurt. I am glad that she has been rescued, and hope she has a good future ahead of her.

  47. Herbert Finkleman says:

    I can’t believe that thought crossed my mind. So. Naughty.

  48. Birdcage says:

    Doesn’t look like she got a really good latch on that baby bottle! I know they monitor her meeelk intact so I’m sure it’s fine but it was interesting to see the lack of leep-latching.

  49. As long as I don’t get penguincinerated or swordfisherated, looking at the hugged manatee is just fine. 🙂

  50. Ohhh, what a cutie pie! I see the juvies and the adults in the wild, but never have gotten to see one this small.

  51. bookmonstercats says:

    A Man of Cute Overload indeed. Look at his contented expression, sitting in water, feeding the baby. My kind of man even if he isn’t in Jamal’s class.

    Manatees eating romaine lettuce. Thuds down at the gentle cuteness.

  52. I have met a baby manatee (in the wild! it was magical, yes) and they are surprisingly like puppies!

  53. Thank you, AuntieMame! I was wondering if anyone immediately thought of Barbara Manatee. (Oh Barbara Manatee, you are the one for me! You came down from above! You are the one I love!)

  54. To NOMTOM for the WIN for the best pun in a title:
    Oh the hugged manatee

  55. How cute are those little nostrils when she comes up for air?!?

  56. O NO (he/she/or it) DI'UNT!!!!! says:

    @ pyrit: I can spare enough for one head/ romaine.
    Will that help any??? 😉

  57. O NO – HeythereWhereyabeen? Your Rick Astley alarm not go off this morning?

  58. DillPig says:

    Noone has mentioned the little flippeau gently holding onto the man’s hand….

  59. Maerlyn99 says:

    Name it Hugh! Hugh Manatee!

  60. CO usually has a ModCloth advertisement off to the side. This was a new arrival today!


  61. O NO (he/she/or it) DI'UNT!!!!! says:

    Hi Pyrit (happy wave)

    — good question!!!
    –Actually I did layabed a few hours later than normal today due to a previous engagement with (ominous music here please) (*a migraine headache*) (EEK!!!)
    and got emails at noon today from me brudder AND me mudder wonderin’ what in succotash (etc etc) …

    But if it helps any, I went from the pic of the kitty with R. Astley song, and wandered around ’til I found a MUPPETS / BEEKER version of the R Astley song
    (NOT KIDDING) and I was still playing that again, just an hour ago!!!

    A Sophisticate.


  62. @TUM: Props!

  63. @Maerlyn99 – Your terrific name brought to mind this historic event reported by Herb Morrison. Lest we forget. (is at about 0:48)

    I have to disagree with Francesca saying manatees were dumb. The really dumb ones are the fools that just have to go flying down canals in motorboats. Even more so when there are signs telling them to slow down. I bet the manatees were here long before we were. I just hope they can survive the ‘most intelligent animals’.

  64. MaggieBee says:

    The nostrils! THE NOSTRILS!!!!

    Keels me ded. 😀

  65. You’re welcome! The video is just too cute not to share!

  66. I’m with Paigeygirl…that’s no manatee! That’s just a wee tyke-a-tee!

    (and yes, I am quite jealous that she gets to hug those strong yet gentle arms…sigh…)

  67. soxfan413 says:

    Bigtime nuff alert to whoever mentioned the HSUS.. they just suck, as evidenced by this link..


    Animal loving people need to know HSUS and PETA would prefer us all to have no pets at all and that’s what they’re working towards. Do not confuse your own local humane society with the Humane Society of the United States. Big big diff… depending on your local shelters and increasingly intrusive pet laws in your area.

  68. OMG, I about fainted from the cuteness! :o)

  69. Gawwwww, babeh manuhteeee!!!! I love how they’re a crossbreed between mermaids and hippos. With capybara nostrils.

  70. Isserley says:

    very cute

  71. Poohbear says:

    As Herman Melville wrote (and he sure knew blorpitude when he saw it) : Ah Bartelby ! Ah you, manatee !

  72. Barbara Manateeeee….

  73. Alice Shortcake says:

    I can’t believe that people actually get PAID to bottle-feed baby manatees. It’s just not fair!

    *stomps off*

  74. Rachael says:

    Holy Mother of Blorp!! Why isn’t that me feeding the chubalicious bebbeh manateh?

  75. Katrina says:

    To reinforce the obvious- at around 1:00-yes, those nostricles are squee-worthy!

    Puddle-Wonderful puns all over the place!

  76. Awwwww….and what a job!!

  77. Love the tiny flippers… a bit worried with the snuggles that they will not fear humans (or other dangers) if released into the wild? Did I miss something? (Flipperz!!!)

  78. O NO – (whispers) so sowwy abowt teh migwane. hope you nebber get anudder.

  79. Colonel Jenna says:

    I have a documentary from the 80’s about wildlife around Cape Canaveral, that described how the barges that tow space shuttle parts were given very special protective covers for their propellors to protect the manatees. (As of the time of the filming, the large undeveloped areas for safety + gnarly military security = keen wildlife zone.)

  80. O NO (he/she/or it) DI'UNT!!!!! says:

    @ pyrit (t’anks — me two 😉 )

  81. O NO (he/she/or it) DI'UNT!!!!! says:

    @ Alice Shortcake: very effective stomping technique there.
    Is it under copyright or may I copy that method??? 🙂

  82. Interesting Fact: Hugging a Manatee adds 2 years to your life.

  83. BStrange says:

    Now THAT is a pet rock I could love. Wait – you say it’s alive?! SQUEEEEEE!

    Manatees are “cute and sad” by nature.. The basset hounds of the sea. And 0:44 of the video looks so much like “*dainty manatee burp, covers mouf with flipper* Excuse me!”

    Lucy: The ones born and raised in the wild aren’t especially fearful of humans anyway. “Trusting to a fault” is how I once heard them described. And proper rehabbers know what they’re doing, don’t worry. 😉

    Birdcage: Given the “armpit mammaries” arrangement on a momma manatee + the shape of a manatee mouf, it makes sense. Go here and scroll down to see a photo of a nursing behbeh and mom: http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/manatee/birth-&-care.htm

  84. In Florida, we have manatee-shaped mailboxes.

    I also occasionally see them off my dock; my dog loves to see them. They loooove lettuce; my brothers used to jump in & swim around feeding them their greens. They have the most horrible halitosis though. That’s not cute. xP

    Also, they are related to elephants! They have toenails & everything.

  85. I would so love that job!!!

  86. LovesDogs says:

    Can I pleeeeeze hold the behbeh??? And feed her????? Pleeeeeze???

  87. Bettymouse says:

    @ Holly:
    You win!

  88. @soxfan

    in case you didn’t realize it, this is a huge bundle of kindling and approving it is like dropping a match on it. if this turns into a flamewar, i’m gonna have to shut ‘er down.

    the punch line is at :41

  89. Colonel Jenna says:

    From what everyone is saying here, I bet Sea World could raise obscene amounts of money by selling the priviledge of bottle-feeding the manatee. You’d have to take precautions like a good hot bath with lots of soap, wear a clean swimsuit, have a trainer at your shoulder, and wouldn’t you do it in a heartbeat?

  90. BStrange says:

    Colonel Jenna: Iiii dunno. I’ve bottle fed lots of cute critchurs in my lifetime (plus tweezer fed and toothpick fed and even spoon fed). I think I’ve done my… done my… uhh…

    *looks again at baby manatee mouf, with baby manatee tongue, baby manatee flipperses and sad baby manatee eye*

    Heck. YES. *wistful sigh!*

  91. Becky, Bubba's mum says:

    Oh what a sweet little baby. Too much cuteness! Save the manatees.

  92. biologist says:

    too bad its florida fish and wildlife who actually spent 9 hours rescuing this cute little bugger. i would know because i was the one who rescued her.

  93. awwww i want one next to me all the time!

  94. Hugs to you then biologist! You are doing some of the most important work in the world and we thank you so much!

    bookmonstercats – Jamal *sigh* You just had to go there, didn’t ya? Where is our hunkiest of hunks anyhow?

  95. Mary (the first) says:

    Very cute, both the babeh and the CO Calendar man! 😀

  96. @Marie and @bookmonstercats

    >>Jamal *sigh* You just had to go there, didn’t ya? Where is our hunkiest of hunks anyhow?

    are you guys referring to the splendid “jamin?”

  97. I think probably they could make money letting others feed the babeh manatee — but what would it be like to be bottle fed by a succession of fumbling strangers? I don’t think that would be in the manatee’s best interests.

  98. Ruffian9 says:

    “I want oh so very badly for that to be my job please.”

    Me too me too – maybe we can jobshare??

  99. Ruffian9 says:

    “Save the Manatee Club”

    Really? Yeeeee (claps hands)! Over a decade, occla? – that’s awesome!

  100. Ruffian9 says:

    Ok, my 3rd post….it’s some sort of sick compulsion, forgive me. Marie, you wrote exactly what I was thinking when watching the video. There is NOTHING more appealing to me than a man taking care of an animal (‘specially a bebeh). Heavy sigh.

  101. BStrange says:

    JME – You’re taking the wrong part of that seriously, at least in my case. It is all about the “don’t you wish you could”. And yes, I wish I could. 😉

  102. soxfan413 says:

    Sharpy, I have no idea whatsoever what you’re trying to say to me. Sorry…

  103. @soxfan

    the arguments that HSUS and PETA are conspiring to rid the world of domesticated animals–among other bombastic accusations–are legendary. just google HSUS or PETA and “sucks.” posting this stuff on CO is likely to start fights and fighting is bad.

  104. Who knew that Ciaran Hinds moonlighted as a keeper at Sea World? 😉