Make it a Father’s Day like none other. Adopt a manatee! For just $25, Save the Manatee Club will send dad an adoption certificate with a color photo, along with the life history of a real, living manatee, and more. Also, for $35, each new member who adopts a manatee will receive the new 2014 Club T-shirt featuring a popular, tropical design by wildlife artist Nancy Blauers. Shipping is free in the United States. Select from 35 manatees including Whiskers, Flash, Rocket, and Doc – all great choices for dad. View the adoptees on the Club’s website at www.savethemanatee.org/adoptees. Funds from the adoption program support Save the Manatee Club’s manatee conservation efforts around the world.
Heidi Dodson from North Carolina adopted Merlin for her husband, Matthieu, last year when he became a new father. “He was pleasantly surprised to receive the manatee adoption for Father’s Day,” said Heidi. “I lived in Florida for many years as a young girl and I loved the manatees – I was in awe of them!”
Manatees are Florida’s official state marine mammal and they’re listed as endangered at the state, federal, and international levels. Currently, the U.S. manatee population is estimated at about 5,000. The manatee population has suffered significant losses in recent years, particularly from cold stress and red tide outbreaks. Collisions with boats continue to be a large known cause of manatee deaths. Most manatees living in the wild bear scars from at least one watercraft collision. In fact, manatee scars are so common that researchers use them as a method of individual identification. Habitat deterioration and loss of warm-water habitat are also major concerns.
Save the Manatee Club, a Florida-based international nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare manatee organization, was founded in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Funds raised from the adoption program go toward public awareness activities such as educational brochures, waterway signs, boating banners, and decals. The Club distributes free education materials to teachers and students across the U.S. and internationally and helps fund research as well as manatee rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts. The Club also funds programs in the United States, Central and South America, the Wider Caribbean, and West Africa.
Heidi, who says she enjoys everything outdoors, is concerned about the well-being of Florida’s imperiled marine mammals. “Manatees are so spectacular. I think it’s very sad what human neglect and carelessness is doing to them. But I have always been a huge fan of Save the Manatee Club and all that they do. It’s because of organizations such as these that give hope to the survival of manatees, and other animals.”
For more information about manatees, and to adopt one for Father’s Day, visit Save the Manatee Club at savethemanatee.org, or toll call free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646.)
Also, visit The Manatee Store, the Club’s online shopping center, for more Father’s Day gift ideas. Go to www.shopsavethemanatee.org.