About Belle

Gender: Female
Current Tag Id: 177775

Belle was rescued for cold stress in Largo, Pinellas County, Florida on March 1, 2019. She was 186 centimeters long and weighed 265 pounds at the time of her rescue. She was transported to Sea World of Orlando for care. She was transferred to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to continue her rehabilitation, then transferred back to Sea World of Orlando for prerelease conditioning. She was released on February 27,2020 at TECO in Hillsborough County. She was 224centimeters and weighed 600 pounds. She will be monitored by Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute.

  1. 03/17/2020 09:15 AM
    • Belle was milling in an area near Cockroach Bay with another manatee. They appeared to be finding something to eat on the bottom as they would raise their heads high and Belle had some vegetation on her chin. The visibility was very poor and no submerged vegetation could be identified. They both started traveling out a small tidal creek, getting to the end then returning to the pond. After a while she traveled back out the creek stopping at a spot with her friend. They both were raising their heads high and making slurping sounds.  Belle’s companion moved on and she drifted back towards the pond, then came right back to the same spot with a different manatee. She left and returned to the exact same spot a couple of times before returning to the pond.

  2. 03/12/2020 09:15 AM
    • Belle was traveling from one secluded bay out towards Tampa Bay. She stopped to greet another manatee and the two continued to the bay together. Due to low tide they had to use the boat channel, making their way to the grass flats with a research vessel escort. They meandered through the channel stopping to feed on vegetation briefly until a passing boat would disrupt them. Once they made it out to deeper water, they started working their way out of the channel. 

  3. 03/09/2020 01:15 PM
    • Belle was feeding in choppy water in Tampa Bay. The water was shallow and lots of sand and vegetation were floating up around her head. She abruptly began to travel and intersected another manatee following it further till they met another manatee. The trio started socializing bordering on cavorting, either way reducing any visibility in the water. They settled down a bit but stayed active in the area, however it was not possible to tell if they were socializing or feeding. 

  4. 03/04/2020 10:00 AM
    • Belle was socializing with every manatee at TECO. She would move from one group to another interacting with them. One group started cavorting, which she did not seem to like and traveled a little to find a calmer group. As the activity in the canal started to wane, Belle continued to instigate interaction but could not find any takers. All the others were surface resting in the sun and Belle did the same.

Click here to open map in a new window.