By Katy Gill
Rare and up-close footage has emerged of a family of over a dozen manatees being filmed migrating to warmer waters for the winter, thanks to a kayaker in a see through canoe.
The fascinating video which was filmed by Michael McCarthy, the CEO of The See Through Canoe Company, features drone footage of the 650lb sea cows on their voyage to warm water springs during winter.
Michael, who often experiences close encounters with marine animals, was on a typical water journey on March 19 in St Petersburg, Florida, USA when he captured the migration of the 10 feet long herbivores.
One manatee taking particular interest in the kayaker and his translucent boat for around 20 minutes by inspecting and looking up into it – occasionally popping his head out of the water and looking directly at the Floridian.
The harmless animals are seen closely swimming together in the murky waters, with the babies either glued to their parent’s side or sandwiched in-between both mum and dad.
The CEO said: “It always makes me happy when a manatee takes an interest in me and comes up for a closer look.
“Even though I have experienced many awesome manatee and other marine wildlife encounters, I still get very excited every time a manatee decides to come to me and hang out for a while.
“They are extremely friendly and curious animals.
“It did used to make me nervous how close they would get to the canoe incase they flipped it over.
“Over the years I have learnt that as long as the manatee comes to you versus you going up to them, they will not get startled thus meaning you will not get flipped over.
“They’re also harmless – a manatees teeth are set too far back in the jaw to even bite someone.
“The electric motor on the See Through Canoe is specifically designed to be wildlife friendly.
“The propeller actually stops turning if it hits something, meaning it can’t hurt the manatee.
“Although manatees are vegetarians, they eat meat occasionally and are often seen in the Florida Keys hanging around fish cleaning stations eating the scraps thrown into the water.”