Temperature: 40 c.
Location: Lovers Key, Fort Myers FL. Southwest Florida International Airport & Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia.
Acknowledged species behaviours:
- Mother and cub Manatee locomotive behaviour (swimming).
- Koi fish locomotive behaviour (swimming).
- Pekin duck active behaviour (splashing).
- Black vulture locomotive behaviour (flying).
Our final day in Florida, after an unforgettable experience of completing our overseas fieldwork, we began the day at the later time of 10am, upon concluding that we possibly required a lie in before occupying our extensive travels back to The UK.
Myself and 2 other students (Annabel and Georgina) accompanied by Wynn, opted for a final trip to Lovers Key – The attraction we visited during our second day in Florida, for a hopeful last manatee sighting.
We stepped out of the minibus, aspirations running high as we aimed to spot a manatee before beginning our journey to the airport (Southwest Florida International Airport).
Manatees names are apt, due to their long stature, slow lolling nature and their propensity to be eaten by other animals. They are more closely related to Elephants.
Source: Alina Bradford (2017).
We perched ourselves comfortably besides a remote lake, surrounded with trees and the sweet sounds of chirping birds as we simultaneously gazed into the waters for any significant signs of manatees, mostly including the rippled movement of water.
To our delight, after a mere 10 minutes spent patiently waiting for manatees to swim within a noticeably proximity of us, we encountered the delightful, memorable experience of viewing both a manatee and her cub swimming elegantly within close viewing distance.
Our previous manatee sightings were certainly exceptional, however, viewing the endangered species up close was a truly phenomenal experience.
Figure 81: Manatee sighting during our final morning trip to Lovers Key.
After filling the boot of the minibus with our belongings, we drove to a nearby shopping mall before approaching Southwest Florida International Airport. We stayed at the mall for roughly 2 hours before beginning our 24 hour journey back home to Bangor.
The mall was surrounded with stunning fauna species, alongside ducks and large species of koi fish (Cyprinus carpio) contentedly inhabiting the surrounding water fountains.
We then drove to Southwest Florida International Airport, proceeding to unload the minibus to make our way into the airport to begin the check in process, ready for our first 3-hour flight to Philadelphia.
For further information on Lovers Key State Park, please visit the following resource:
Bradford A. (2017) Live Science. Manatees: Facts About Sea Cows.