Photo Credit: Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau via USA Today
It doesn’t get much cuter than a chubby little manatee baby, that is, unless there are two of them!
A pair of rare newborn manatee twins were spotted swimming with their mom in the waters off Florida’s Homosassa Springs this past week. Manatees are one of the state’s most popular draws for tourists, but unfortunately, they’re also on the endangered list with fewer than 6,000 remaining.
The dual birth is extremely unlikely – The Dodo reports that even those who’ve spent years working with manatees in the wild have never seen it happen. According to Citrus County, Florida’s Facebook page, just two percent of manatee births result in twins.
Captain Gene Parker with Snorkel With Manatees told the site that even after nearly 15 years in his career, this is the first time he’s run across a mother calf with twins. Fortunately, the exciting event was captured on film for the world to see.
In the video, you can hear Parker exclaim, “Oh my god! Holy… snikers. I’m way too excited about this. This is way too cool. So rare that this wonderful mother manatee has got twins and taking such good care of them.”
Certainly wonderful news for this incredibly adorable, gentle species. Watch Parker’s thrilled reaction at spotting the twins here: