Volusia County

Central Florida tourism group adopts manatee, ‘Gator,’ to support Save the Manatee Club

ORANGE CITY, Fla. — West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority has adopted “Gator” the manatee to help support the work of the Save the Manatee Club in Central Florida.

WATCH: Brevard County reports increased number of manatee deaths

Gator the manatee was adopted this month to help with efforts to support the manatee population in Florida.


Gator, a frequent visitor to Blue Spring State Park, was identified in 2011 when he was seen on a Save the Manatee Club’s webcam chasing and playing with an alligator, thus earning him his name.

Gator’s exact birth date is not known, but it’s believed he was among a group of yearling manatees seen at Blue Spring during the 2010-2011 winter season.

READ: ‘Stranded high & dry’: Manatee rescued along a dirt road in Florida

Officials said Gator is believed to be a bit of a runt, remaining small in size but not in terms of personality as he’s very playful.

Gator has suffered two boat hits, leaving him with nine propeller cuts and a large skeg cut down his right rear side, wildlife officials said.

Funds from the Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee program go toward helping to protect manatees and their habitat.

READ: ‘It’s heartbreaking’: What’s being done to curb record manatee deaths

For 41 years, Save the Manatee Club has worked to improve the lives of many manatees, assisted in valuable research and protected the habitats that manatees call home for future generations by aiding in the recovery and protection of the manatees and their aquatic ecosystems throughout the world, officials said.

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