Safety Tips for Our Manatee Tours in Florida
Swimming with manatees can be an unforgettable experience. Watching these graceful creatures move around in the water can be mesmerizing, and it can be hard to forget that you are entering a wild animal’s natural habitat. As such, there are a few safety tips you can follow to ensure both your safety and the manatees’.
Manatees are harmless animals, but you pose a danger to them if you do not respect their habitat. When you are on manatee tours in Florida, it is important to practice passive observation. While manatees may approach you and seem friendly, you should not approach or chase them, touch, ride, surround, poke or otherwise disturb them.
Avoid Splashing and Excess Noise
Making excessive noise or splashing in the water can scare manatees away from the warm water area they inhabit. This can put them in harm’s way from boat traffic or cold exposure. While snorkeling on manatee tours in Florida, you should float near them with minimal movement so as not to disturb them.
Do Not Feed the Manatees
Just like with any wild animal, you should not feed manatees. Feeding them can disrupt their natural feeding patterns. Food that is not part of their natural diet may also be harmful to them. Also, feeding manatees can alter their behavior patterns. Manatees that have lost their fear of humans may approach boats expecting foot only to be injured or killed by a propeller or tangled in fishing nets.
Dispose of Trash Properly
While on manatee tours in Florida, always respect your environment. Dispose of any trash properly, so you do not damage the manatees’ habitat with debris and pollutants. Things like plastic bags, six-pack holders, monofilament lines, fishing hooks, and other debris thrown into waterways are dangerous to both manatees and other forms of wildlife. Manatees can try to eat the trash, which can be fatal for them. Always be considerate of animals when you are out in nature.
Always remember to be respectful of wild animals when you enter their habitats and follow all of the rules your diving instructor gives you when you book a manatee tour with Birds Underwater.