WATCH: Florida man captures first moments between manatee, newborn calf

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — A Florida man captured the special first moments between a manatee and her baby calf.

Kevin Swanepoel, of Bonita Shores, said he saw the mother nursing the calf in a canal. He said the baby wouldn’t leave its mother’s side.


The moment was made extra special since the reproductive rate for manatees is fairly low. On average, a mother only gives birth to one calf every two to five years.

“It was like this remarkable experience of sort of seeing this brand-new little calf being born and then suddenly coming up to the surface. And, you know, the mother nurturing, it is just so incredible,” Swanepoel said.

Read: Environmental groups ask for manatees to be added back to endangered list, threaten lawsuit

Experts say the mother and her baby will probably move out of the canal at some point and look for food.

You can see the video above.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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