POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – Calls poured into the wildlife hotline Monday as anxious beachgoers thought Manatees had stranded themselves on Pompano Beach.
It turns out the manatees were mating.
Summer time is prime time for manatee mating and this group of cavorting sea cows simply got into some shallow water as the males attempted to mate with a female at 1360 South Ocean.
The ritual drew a steady stream of spectators who wanted to get a better view.
"I thought at first they were sorry whales, but they are mating. How cool is that?" said Brad Plaketta.
Dewayne Simmons had his cell phone out to record the event.
"I'm taping for my little girl. You don't see this in California. I've never seen a manatee," he said.
Even people who live on the beach said they'd never seen this before.
"It's good to see they're not in danger. We need more manatees," said Theresa Duncan.
Manatees do not form permanent pair bonds like some animal species.
During breeding, a single female will be followed by a group of a dozen or more males or bulls, forming a mating herd, according to Save The Manatee Club.
When a female manatee goes into estrus, she is soon detected and pursued by numerous male manatees throughout the cycle, according to the group.
Manatees can breed for up to three weeks and may mate with one or more bulls in the herd. That makes it difficult for scientists to identify the paternity of a calf.
A mating herd is sort of a free-for-all, according to the Save The Manatee Club and in shallower waters the effect can be quite dramatic with churning waters and flailing flukes and flippers.
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