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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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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