About Buckeye

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id: 98098

Buckeye was found in the Halifax River in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, as a male orphaned calf on September 8, 2015. He was 121 centimeters long and weighed 64 pounds at his rescue. He was brought to SeaWorld to recuperate and then transferred to Jacksonville Zoo for continued care. Buckeye has now grown to 688 pounds and 242 centimeters in length. He was released at Blue Spring State Park on March 8, 2018, and will be monitored by Sea To Shore Alliance.

  1. 05/10/2018 10:40 AM
    • Buckeye was very engaged with the other animals in a group of 7 which of course included Cassie.  When I first sighted them in the lagoon they had a group of kayakers (with a guide) very close to them, but they backed away after it was requested.  Buckeye, Cassie, and a few others from the group started to approach my boat but I backed up and they didn't continue to approach.  Then Buckeye got involved in a mating herd, and I was able to get a good view of his ventral side when he did a half-roll.  He still has a flat stomach but no folds at the moment. There is a great deal of pennywort and other vegetation available here.

  2. 05/06/2018 10:04 AM
    • Buckeye was with Cassie and one other animal south of Blue Spring. All three animals bottom rested for all of the visual. The rain was constant today and became heavier as the day went on. All three animals had the right idea in sleeping through the inclement weather. Buckeye’s respiration rates were 8-10 minutes.

  3. 05/02/2018 07:12 AM
    • Buckeye’s tag was recovered by park staff at Blue Spring yesterday, so we responded today to re-tag. He milled slowly out of Blue Spring and to the south.  When another animal moved into the area he began to socialize.  I approached, attempting to get behind him while they both were at the surface nuzzling, but they dropped deep into the water column as I got close.  The wild manatee began to bump into me, chewing on my fins and leg.  This prompted Buckeye to investigate me too, so retagging was pretty easy, but getting a piece of his old gear off spooked him, resulting in high speed back and forth movements past me.  He stayed away from shore and did not approach me until after I had approached him to finally remove his old gear.  Afterward he continued to mill around as Cassie watched humans on their boat and then milled south of the spring.

  4. 04/28/2018 10:00 AM
    • Buckeye was full of energy today.  He’ll definitely sleep well tonight.   He cavorted within a small group of 4 other animals just south of Blue Spring for much of the extended visual.  There were brief periods of calmer socializing.  All of the splashing and play made for a fun visual.   Respiration rates were around 2 minutes due to active behavior.  Cassie was nearby as usual.

  5. 04/22/2018 09:00 AM
    • Both Buckeye and Cassie were at the boil at Blue Spring, but showed no interest in swimmers and when it got busy they seemed bothered. Late in the morning they both left the spring and traveled south. Buckeye passed a lot of gas while in the boil, and there was a fecal sample there that could have been from one of them.

  6. 04/17/2018 09:47 AM
    • Swimming stayed closed today until around noon. Buckeye and Cassie headed up towards diver entry and the boil between 9:30 and noon. Once at the boil they were busier socializing with each other, then settled down to rest while the people kept a respectful distance. Some people were free diving, but neither Buckeye nor Cassie showed interest. Both manatees left between 3 and 4.

  7. 04/16/2018 09:45 AM
    • Buckeye was located at the northwest corner of the spring just outside of the buoy line.  He was milling around with Cassie.  He kept moving into the spring, then would turn around and go back outside of the buoys.  Finally he had enough and swam hard into the spring run with Cassie and another animal following.  They all swam to the east side of the swim dock and began to bottom rest.  Buckeye was more off to himself pouting, then fed on algae off of a log.  He stopped chewing only for a second to look at me, then continued to chew away.  I was in the water to re-tag Cassie and came within 15 feet of him without any change in his behavior.

  8. 04/14/2018 01:44 PM
    • Swimmers at Blue Spring respectfully avoided Buckeye and Cassie as they milled through the swim area. They went out into the river together at 3:45, then continued south.

  9. 04/08/2018 10:15 AM
    • Buckeye was with Cassie at the boil of the spring until the area had to be shut down because of the number of swimmers. He then milled and rested before traveling out of the spring with Cassie. He was milling with her near the entrance to the lagoon at the end of the visual. Respiration intervals were up to 12 minutes when resting.

  10. 03/30/2018 07:36 AM
    • Buckeye, Cassie, and the cold stressed manatee that FWC was monitoring prior to rescue were at Blue Spring. Buckeye and Cassie swam into the spring from the south side of the river. They stayed close to the buoy line and swam around slowly with the other animal. Eventually they hung out quietly at the canoe beach, then went on to rest further up the run, between platfoms 1 and 2.

  11. 03/27/2018 09:58 AM
    • Buckeye and Cassie stayed together on bottom with regular respirations for about 10 minutes before milling upstream towards the second and third observation platforms of Blue Spring, then settled back down on bottom there. There were 15 other animals in the run, near the river.

  12. 03/18/2018 09:00 AM
    • At Blue Spring, Buckeye milled around near the boil and tried to socialize with Cassie, who was sleeping. Shortly after noon they left the boil together and traveled down the spring run. Both continued nearly to the river, turning around when they reached the dark water.

  13. 03/12/2018 02:56 PM
    • Buckeye and Cassie were in the spring run, but traveling towards the river together. They explored a bit north of the spring, then south, but didn't quite travel all the way up into the lagoon. They sometimes came up for breaths together. Other manatees were observed leaving the spring run as well during that time.

  14. 03/10/2018 07:45 AM
    • Buckeye was staying quietly on bottom at Blue Spring with a group of about 30 others but began moving around.  Once he began socializing he was distracted enough to be re-tagged.

  15. 03/09/2018 04:13 PM
    • One day after release, Buckeye’s tag was recovered floating just outside Blue Spring this afternoon.

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