Wanna Cuddle A Manatee?

This fellow had the opportunity to! Quoting the YouTube text, “WPBF 25 engineer Jay Darden spent his Thanksgiving weekend swimming with a Manatee in the Crystal River near Tampa, where he got up close and personal with the sea cow.”

Watch when they cuddle! Cuddling a Manatee! Get OUT!

Thanks to Cuteporter Othymiano.



  1. I love when the reporter is all, “that was the best video of the day; we did NOT oversell that!” xD

  2. AWWWWWWWWW!!!!! Stinkin cute!

  3. Manatee was lovin’ his/her skritch.

  4. I want to cuddle a manatee and have my leg cuddled back. That is all. There is no more to be said.

    *Sits back and folds arms in a decided manner*

  5. Lower, lower, Ahhhhhhh! Right there 🙂

  6. They better be careful .. I seem to recall someone doing that and they got arrested. whoopies

  7. it’s illegal in Fla. to cuddle manatees.

  8. Hugebody McTinyhead says:

    I KNEW they liked having their bellehs scritched! (Gosh, I feel so vindicated.)
    Stands to reason, really – with that much blorp and those woefully inadequate finger(/flipper)nails it’s hard to reach those super-itchy spots.

  9. I recall the story you mention. I think it was a father allowing his kids to sit on a Manatee that was kind-of beaching itself from illness. But Yea. This would be wonderful to have happen but these blorpie guys are wicked protected. And for a very good reason.

  10. 260Oakley says:

    According to the news report the diver is in the one county in Florida where humans are allowed to touch manatees. Not sure if it’s legal for manatees to touch humans, though.

  11. Bettymouse says:

    I have done this very same thing in the very same river. I know it’s not right to “interfere” with wild animals, but, seriously, they come right up to you. They aren’t getting fed or anything, they just appear to like the interaction. It’s completely and utterly redonkulous.
    And, yes, I did die from the cute.

  12. Blue Footed Booby says:

    The way I understand it, it’s illegal to approach and bother them, but if they approach you it’s not illegal. Or is that only for being near, and touching them is always illegal?

  13. It should totally be legal to cuddle animals as long as you aren’t hurting them. And this manatee seems to *love* the attention.

  14. You can only cuddle them with one hand? I can think of about five bad punchlines there.

  15. Not if you buy them dinner first. 😛

  16. lololol

  17. lisaLASSIE says:

    A few years ago I want to Crystal River to swim with manatees. I went on a boat that took people around to do just that. They said it is legal to touch them but only with one hand at a time. No grabbing. You were not allowed to pursue them. I got to swim with them. PET them!!!!!!!!! And an adolescent came up and kissed me on the face (sadly I had a face mask on, but still)!!!!!!!!!!. I’m surprised I was able to survive that. There were several other people gathered around and when I got kissed I heard underwater loud SQUEEEEES from all of them. We saw one mom with a tiny baby.

  18. yeah, Floridian here, the law reads as follows “It is unlawful for any person, at any time, intentionally or negligently, to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb any manatee.”

    And you really are not supposed to touch them, even in a friendly way, they are so at risk of extinction that even in location where its okay to swim with them like the Crystal River, all the instructions and wildlife officers tell you not to touch.