About Buckeye

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id:

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. 11/14/2019 01:00 PM
    • Buckeye was feasting in a large patch of Pennewort in the run at Blue Spring. There were several manatees enjoying it with him. It proved to be a popular spot as many other manatees stopped there on their way in and out of the run. Buckeye socialized with everyone for a bit then settled in along the shore for a rest. He roused himself to greet some newcomers and continued to socialize with them.

  2. 10/31/2019 12:45 PM
    • Buckeye was interacting with another manatee in a small area off the St. Johns River. He started to travel towards Blue Spring State Park but met a group of kayakers and turned around moving back to where he had been. He bottom rested for a while then suddenly moved further into the cove where he found another manatee and began socializing  

  3. 10/15/2019 12:15 PM
    • Buckeye was in a sheltered area off the St. Johns River. Two people in a kayak were essentially right on top of him. He moved away from them and they followed. Before they could be intercepted, they started putting their hands in the water and Buckeye exploded up next to them almost capsizing the kayak. The couple was educated about their behavior and left the area. Buckeye moved to the shore to feed with a mom and calf. When they were done eating the trio moved away from shore and bottom rested for the remainder of the observation.

  4. 10/04/2019 11:00 AM
    • Buckeye was resting in an area just off the St. Johns River. There were two other manatees resting nearby. Buckeye started to travel and slowly made his way to the spring run and all the way to the boil where he played with a palm stump for a while then moved back down the run, stopping occasionally to mill around and scratch his back. Gas and feces were observed, and a body condition assessment was done. His belly looked well rounded and overall his condition was good.

  5. 09/18/2019 10:00 AM
    • Buckeye was spotted heading into the Blue Spring run. A mom/calf pair went by him and he immediately followed them out to the river. Visual was lost for a short time. He was found resting with a mom/calf pair in a quiet area off the St. Johns River. They stayed together the whole time alternating between resting and socializing. At times things would escalate to cavorting but would quickly settle down again.

  6. 09/06/2019 10:00 PM
    • Buckeye was socializing with a mom/calf pair in an area off the St. Johns River. All of them came to the kayak to check it out. The calf was pushing it and Buckeye was rubbing his back on it. They lost interest in the kayak and went back to socializing with each other.  Buckeye traveled to the opposite shore then came back and started socializing again. He left again going back to the other shore and began to rest near a different mom/calf pair.

  7. 08/22/2019 09:15 AM
    • Buckeye was eating vegetation from the bank in the St.Johns River, near Blue Springs. He was with another larger manatee who soon left, and a smaller manatee replaced it. Buckeye and the little one headed away from the park and met another manatee. Things escalated to cavorting, continuing until the three of them started to rest. Just as things were settling down a very large manatee swam towards them very fast, actually creating a wake (even though this is a no wake zone). Once on scene this animal got everyone’s attention and cavorting began again

  8. 08/01/2019 09:45 PM
    • Buckeye was resting underneath a large mat of vegetation in the St. John’s River. Every 7-9 minutes just his nose would poke up through the leaves when he took a breath. The wake from a boat, passing in the river, disturbed him and he dramatically changed positions. He then continued to rest for the duration of the observation.

  9. 07/18/2019 03:45 PM
    • Buckeye was feeding in a small lagoon off the St. John’s River. There were other manatees feeding in this same area and Buckeye would break away from his meal to interact with them. He would alternate between eating and socializing for the entire time. A heavy thunderstorm forced the observation to be cut short

  10. 07/09/2019 12:15 PM
    • Buckeye was tucked into a large expanse of vegetation in the St. John’s River. He rested for a while then started moving deeper into the plants, carving a path for himself as he went. It was very dense and difficult to follow him. The extreme movement of the foliage as he trudged through gave away his location and after some prolonged trail blazing, he rested again under a mat of Water Lettuce

  11. 06/24/2019 09:30 AM
    • Buckeye was feeding on bottom algae in the Blue Spring Run. He stopped briefly when approached for a body condition assessment, but quickly went back to munching. He started traveling out of the run, meeting up with a couple of manatees coming into the run. They interacted for a while before going their separate ways. Earlier in the day Buckeye's tag had been recovered further down the river. Considering the attention the tag brought to him which often led to harrassment by people, the MRP committee agreed not to retag him at this time. He is able to be tracked by the VHF in his belt and will continued to be monitored to ensure he continues to do well. 

  12. 06/19/2019 09:15 AM
    • Buckeye moved into the Blue Spring Run with a few other animals and they all were socializing together. It would sometimes escalate to cavorting then settle back down. Buckeye would participate then move off to rest. Some of the manatees left and new ones came in, which would start the socializing process over again. Buckeye would interact with newcomers then move off to rest again.

  13. 06/12/2019 01:00 PM
    • Buckeye was resting in an area off the St. John’s River. He moved briefly when another manatee tried to interact with him, then went back to resting. Gas was observed during this time. A heavy storm cut the observation short

  14. 06/07/2019 09:00 AM
    • Buckeye was feeding in the St. John’s River near Blue Spring, with two other manatees. They moved across the river and continued feeding. Buckeye took a trip into the spring run, but quickly left again. At this time, it was possible to assess his body condition, he had a rounded belly and was producing feces. Overall, he looked good, he and his companion moved back out into the river and continued to eat their way along the river.

  15. 06/05/2019 01:00 PM
    • Buckeye was socializing with several manatees in the St. John’s River before bottom resting for a short period. He was roused by some cavorting manatees nearby and moved towards them, joining in. The cavorting group stayed together bouncing back and forth across the river.

  16. 05/30/2019 02:30 PM
    • Buckeye was resting in the St. John’s River. After resting he milled near the shoreline before settling underneath a mat of vegetation. He ate here for a little while before traveling down river for the duration of the observation.

  17. 05/22/2019 11:00 AM
    • Buckeye was moving from a mat of water hyacinth to a mat of Penny Wort just outside the Blue Springs run. He ate at the Penny Wort for a while then seemed to rest underneath it. He suddenly bolted out into the center of the run as a large manatee passed. He followed the other manatee into the spring. It left halfway up but Buckeye kept going then immediately turned around and traveled out of the spring run into the river. He milled along the shoreline then bolted back to the entrance of the run when another manatee approached. Based on the scar patterns this was a different animal than the first one. The two socialized together for the duration of the observation.

  18. 05/13/2019 10:00 AM
    • Buckeye was resting at the boil in Blue Springs. His respiration rate was between 7-10 minutes and gas was observed four times. He began to head towards the river quickly, stopping just outside the spring and resting for a while. He then, again, traveled very quickly to a spot, a little south in the river and stopped near the bank. Another manatee was observed and the two began to socialize. They moved away together, however heavy rain and lightning forced the end of the observation

  19. 05/09/2019 10:30 AM
    • Buckeye was milling at the edge of the St. John’s River at the entrance to a creek. He moved steadily up the river, stopping occasionally and moving under the vegetation on the sides. He did this several times as he traveled, but no feeding could be confirmed. 

  20. 05/02/2019 09:00 AM
    • Buckeye was milling around just outside of Blue Springs. He moved a little south and explored the shoreline before moving back to his original spot where he proceeded to rest for the rest of the observation.

  21. 04/30/2019 10:30 AM
    • After receiving care at Sea World for an infection, Buckeye was medically cleared for release. He was returned to the St. John’s River near Blue Springs State Park. He will be monitored by Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute to ensure he continues to do well

  22. 02/12/2019 09:30 PM
    • Buckeye was captured in a coordinated effort by FWC, Sea World, Sea to Shore Alliance, and Blue Spring State Park Staff. A decision was made to assess his condition through additional medical test, with the hope to gain insight into why his condition had recently declined. It was determined through ultrasound that his loss of body condition warranted his transport to Sea World for a more extensive health check. It is hoped he will make a quick turn around and be back at Blue Spring soon.
  23. 02/06/2019 04:39 PM
    • Buckeye’s location in the spring run has made it difficult to capture him for a health assessment. His frequency out of the spring run has increased and he has been observed feeding. A health assessment is scheduled for 2/12
  24. 02/05/2019 04:37 PM
    • Buckeye’s body condition has continued to decline and he has not been going out to feed like the other animals. Due to concern that this could be related to something other than just the weather, a health assessment has been scheduled to assess his overall health.
  25. 02/01/2019 04:24 PM
    • With the colder weather Buckeye has significantly reduced the amount of time spent feeding outside the spring run and his body condition has declined over this time period. There is a warming trend and it is hoped he will increase his feeding rate and make a turn around. We will increase observations to monitor his progress.
  26. 01/25/2019 08:02 AM
    • 1/25/2019- Due to dropping temperatures in the river, Buckeye has not been leaving the spring area to feed as often. He looks a little lean but better than a week ago. Fecal was observed with a small amount of gas.
  27. 01/14/2019 10:45 AM
    • Buckeye was resting with Cassie near the swimming deck. Anytime she moved down to a new resting spot, he would move with her. After about 45minutes he picked a spot he liked and rested there for the duration of the observation
  28. 01/07/2019 04:10 PM
    •  

      12/26/2018 8:50am   

       

      Buckeye was bottom resting near Cassie and did so for the entire observation. At the very end he left the area quickly, heading out of the run.

       

       

      12/11/2018

       

      Buckeye was retagged at Blue Spring. He appears to have maintained his body mass since he was observed last month. He looks pretty good going into winter but we would like to confirm he maintains weight into winter.

       

       

      12/8/2018

       

      Buckeye’s tether and tag were recovered outside of Blue Spring. He is still in the Blue Spring area and hopefully can be retagged next week

       

       

      11/19/2018 11:20am

       

      Buckeye was located a short distance upstream from diver entry in Blue Spring. He was bottom resting just out of the main flow of the spring with one other manatee. His body condition looked great.

       

       

      11/13/2018 4:00pm

       

      Buckeye was resting until disturbed by another manatee. Buckeye moved away briefly with the other manatee following. A third manatee met them and they began to socialize until the end of the observation.

       

       

      11/07/2018 9:40am

       

      Buckeye was in the back of the lagoon and made a beeline for Cassie when she entered. The two socialized together with a third manatee for some time, then all three moved to a shallow area where they appeared to be eating off the bottom. Buckeye interacted with the third manatee while Cassie rested, then began to rest himself.

       

       

      11/2/2018 9:20am

       

      Buckeye was traveling against the current and a 15mph head wind. He did not seem to like being followed in the kayak, so observer would paddle ahead and wait for him to pass. He continued to travel and seemed to purposely cross to the other side of the river when he approached a boat ramp.

       

       

      10/25/2018 12:20pm

       

      Buckeye was milling in the lagoon, when a mother-calf pair and two socializing manatees caught his attention. Buckeye socialized by touching noses but then went back to milling around the lagoon. One of the other manatees came to check out the kayak, Buckeye followed but unimpressed and continued to mill and socialize with the others. After the other manatees left the area, Buckeye began to rest but became active again when another manatee came on scene.

       

       

      10/16/2018 9:30am

       

      Buckeye traveled against the current for about thirty minutes. He ducked into the spring run near Cassie but did not stay long. He meandered his way under the boat dock and eventually into the lagoon. He met up with another manatee, then traveled to the leeward side of the lagoon where he rested until the observation ended.

       

  29. 01/07/2019 01:07 AM
    • Buckeye was milling around the Boil where Cassie was resting. He found a large submerged log and began chewing the algae on it. He spent a long time working his way down one side of the log, then the other like it was an ear of corn. When he was done he settled next to Cassie and rested. Some gas bubbles were observed at this time. When Cassie started to leave the area, Buckeye did also. He milled a little way down the run but did not go far. He was active at the spot where he stopped, possibly socializing with some other manatees , but it was a little out of view and that could not be confirmed.
  30. 09/04/2018 09:35 AM
    • Buckeye was feeding near the entrance to the spring this morning. He milled around briefly before heading into the spring. Cassie was socializing with one other animal nearby. Buckeye did not participate.

  31. 08/31/2018 09:00 AM
    • Buckeye was in the boil at Blue Spring socializing with Cassie and one other adult.  There were 10-12 swimmers there but none of the group paid any attention.  A little after 2 hours later Buckeye split from the group and milled down the run toward the river.

  32. 08/27/2018 01:00 PM
    • Buckeye was resting in the boil area of the spring with Cassie and one other adult animal today. His behavior almost mirrored Cassie's other than his snooze lasting about 20 minutes longer. When he woke up about 3 hours later he milled and socialized with the others who were still in the area.

  33. 08/24/2018 09:32 AM
    • This morning Buckeye, Cassie, Annie and her calf, 2 juveniles, and the pregnant female Mata Hari were all in the spring between the diver entry and the boil, positioned quietly on bottom near each other.  There were only a few swimmers in the area.  Buckeye and Cassie were milling around together but not interacting with swimmers. Cassie went to the corner for a nap while Buckeye milled to the south bank of the boil near the entrance.

  34. 08/12/2018 09:00 AM
    • Annie and her calf were at Blue Spring, and Buckeye came in and was socializing with Annie about halfway down the run.

  35. 08/06/2018 04:28 PM
    • Buckeye was seen traveling by himself around the entrance to the spring and came into the run. He milled down to the boil, then slowly back out all the way to the river and headed south toward the lagoon.

  36. 08/04/2018 07:01 AM
    • Buckeye was milling alone out in the river near the entrance to Blue Spring this morning. He fed on some pennywort and water lettuce on the west side of the river. He continued milling and feeding for about an hour, then traveled across the river and under the large dam of vegetation blocking the entrance to the lagoon. He passed under the blockage with no problem.

  37. 07/27/2018 11:15 AM
    • Buckeye and a mother-calf pair were heading south past the kayak/canoe launch at Blue Spring. They went into the lagoon socializing and staying close together.

  38. 07/24/2018 08:45 AM
    • Buckeye and Cassie were both in the observation area of the spring for awhile, socializing and feeding across from the observation decks, then went to the canoe beach area. Cassie ended up leaving and headed towards the lagoon, while Buckeye rested and then followed her about 35 minutes later.

  39. 07/19/2018 10:32 AM
    • Buckeye and Cassie met up at Blue Spring and stayed together quite a bit for several hours into the afternoon, very social and tactile with each other, staying mostly in the boil.

  40. 07/16/2018 09:00 AM
    • Buckeye was found in the large patch of duckweed that has gathered across from the observation platforms, then he milled east into the swim area. He stayed on the far bank there, then milled back out and bottom-rested outside of it.

  41. 07/15/2018 07:29 AM
    • Buckeye was milling alone in the lagoon, then his respiration rates lengthened and he fell asleep for the remainder of the visual. The entrance to the lagoon is plugged with large chunks of floating vegetation but is accessible by kayak. Buckeye is able to leave and is going in and out of there and the spring, the oxbows, and the surrounding river. He milled into the spring a few hours later today.

  42. 07/10/2018 10:50 AM
    • Buckeye and Cassie have stayed in Lake Beresford for the past two days, but were milling down the river back toward the spring area.

  43. 07/07/2018 08:40 AM
    • Buckeye had returned to the lagoon at Blue Spring on July 4, but during this morning’s observation on him the lagoon’s entrance was blocked by vegetation mats drifting and accumulating across the entrance.  Our boat could not get through the blockage, but park manager Michael Watkins was able to find a path around the blockage and Buckeye was observed feeding on water lettuce by himself, doing great.  He and Cassie, with groups of other animals, spent days at a time there previously.  The rest of the lagoon is open water and he has plenty of food and space, but it doesn’t appear he can leave the lagoon for now.  The blockage was cleared by July 9.

  44. 06/30/2018 09:22 AM
    • Buckeye was traveling south in Lake Beresford by himself, then headed south down the river and stopped and slowed to milling about halfway between Lake Beresford and Blue Spring. He wisely stayed out of the channel and within about 50 feet from the shoreline for the entire visual. He milled through bunches of spatterdock quite a bit and did not show interest in the research vessel.

  45. 06/18/2018 12:19 PM
    • Buckeye spent time socializing in a big group in the lagoon south of Hontoon Island State Park. He and others fed on pennywort and gator weed for about 10 minutes and milled near the bank.

  46. 06/11/2018 08:30 AM
    • Buckeye and Cassie were west of the boil at the spring, closer to divers’ entry, and moving toward the boil.  While there, both stayed in the deeper parts and did not approach swimmers who were very cooperative about avoiding them.  Again they didn’t stay together the whole time, and by mid-morning Buckeye was just beyond the swim area, then headed back once to the boil and back out again near the spring entrance.  He went out into the river briefly, turning north, then came back and across from the first overlook met up with Cassie, Phyllis and her 2 calves, and one other adult, and all fed enthusiastically on the mats of pennywort and gator weed there.

  47. 06/10/2018 08:20 AM
    • Early in the morning both Buckeye and Cassie were at the boil of the spring.  There ended up being a lot of swimmers, but very soon both went to the back corner and settled down to chew algae off a log for nearly an hour, then went to sleep.  After waking, both Buckeye and Cassie made 2-3 trips back and forth between just west of divers’ entry and the boil as if they couldn’t decide what to do.  They weren’t always together.  While in transit they didn’t approach people, just swam past them.  By early afternoon they were past the swim area to the 2nd overlook and socializing with Phyllis and her 2 calves and one other adult.

  48. 06/06/2018 12:38 PM
    • Buckeye was socializing in a group with Cassie and at least 3 other animals, milling along the bank while Cassie went over to the west side.  He and some of the others in the group began feeding on pennywort, lasting 10 min before he met up with Cassie and milled away from the bank, settling down on bottom with her.

  49. 06/05/2018 12:53 PM
    • Buckeye was socializing in a group with Cassie, milling along the bank south of Blue Spring while Cassie went over to the west side of the area.  He and some of the others in the group began feeding on pennywort, lasting 10 min before he met up with Cassie and milled away from the bank, settling down on bottom with her.

  50. 06/01/2018 12:51 PM
    • Buckeye socialized with at least 3 other smaller adults south of Blue Spring, with Cassie nearby. In about 20 minutes he left the social group to join Cassie and one other animal. He milled towards the middle of the lagoon and appeared to be feeding on some vegetation but feeding could not be verified, then some more socializing turned to a cavorting group. There were at least 8-10 animals total in the area and one mother-calf pair.

  51. 05/29/2018 04:19 PM
    • Buckeye and a group of 4 others were socializing near the entrance of Blue Spring, nuzzling face to face but not quite cavorting.  He still has a good body condition, with a flat belly and no ventral folds. Cassie approached but didn't stay with the group the entire time, all of them socializing on and off and sometimes milling.

  52. 05/22/2018 04:33 PM
    • Buckeye was social as usual in a group of 5 others which included Cassie.  He was staying close with 2 of the others and at one point had gas.

  53. 05/20/2018 07:55 AM
    • Buckeye milled along the shoreline 20 yards south of the boat dock. He then met up with Cassie and they traveled south into the lagoon. They bottom-rested beside each other on the south end for the rest of the visual. Respiration rates were 8-9 minutes.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 03/09/2018 04:13 PM
    • One day after release, Buckeye’s tag was recovered floating just outside Blue Spring this afternoon.

Data map is currently not present for Buckeye.