About Opal

Gender: Female
Current Tag Id: 177775

Opal was rescued as an orphan calf at TECO, Hillsborough county, Florida on November 12, 2019. She was 171 centimeters long and weighed 182 pounds at the time of her rescue. Opal was transported to ZooTampa for care. She was released on February 18, 2021 at TECO in Hillsborough County. She was 217 centimeters in length and weighed 550 pounds. She will be monitored by Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute.

  1. 05/12/2021 11:15 AM
    • Opal is still enjoying her hide-a-way off the Little Manatee River. She was feeding near shore today, foraging along the bottom as she moved along the bank. She started to move in earnest towards a little creek she likes but met up a couple of manatees. She stopped for a while to engage with them then continued on her way.

  2. 05/06/2021 09:15 AM
    • Opal was resting in a sheltered area off the Little Manatee River near a couple of other animals. They slowly became more active and started socializing, touching noses, and chasing each other. This continued for the remainder of the visual

  3. 05/03/2021 08:00 AM
    • Opal has been using the high tides to explore the small tidal creeks off the Little Manatee River. Today she was resting in a small marina. The resident dock dog did a good job taking her respiration rate by barking whenever she took a breath, which was every 7-8 minutes. Gas was observed twice but the dog did not bark at that. 

  4. 04/26/2021 11:45 AM
    • Opal explored the eastern part of the Little Manatee River over the weekend but returned to her quiet bayou today. Although it was not so quiet today, as a mating herd was creating a ruckus. Opal skirted the group and moved along the bank where she found a spot to rest for a little while. Another manatee was feeding not too far from her so when she was refreshed, she made her way over and joined in.

  5. 04/21/2021 11:00 AM
    • Opal was milling along the shore of a large bayou off the Little Manatee River. She poked along the bank, pushing her face into the vegetation but there was nothing to indicate she was feeding. 

  6. 04/13/2021 02:00 PM
    • Opal was milling in a tiny creek, off a small cove, in the Ruskin Inlet. A mom/calf pair left the same area, shortly after Opal took off like she just remembered she left the oven on. She continued down the inlet until she stopped as abruptly as she started. She nestled into a stand of Cordgrass and was nibbling on the pieces in the water. Gas was observed.

  7. 04/05/2021 10:45 AM
    • Observations were made from the public observation deck. Opal was initally identified at 10:45 on the east side of the first discharge in the middle of the channel where she was alone and slowly milling about the wind protected side of the discharge. Winds were from the WNW at 5-10 Mph, there was a slight chop on the TECO main channel on an incoming tide. She briefly repositioned to the Viewing Platform at 11:10 making it possible to get a good visual of her condition (she appears to be in good condition). She then moved back to her prior position west of the first discharge at 11:32 where she maintained position for another half hour before moving west to leave the Teco channel at end of the observation.

  8. 03/31/2021 09:00 AM
    • Opal was in a large cavorting group near E. G. Simmons Park. All manner of body parts were flinging into the air making it hard to tell which ones were hers. The large group broke into three different smaller groups and Opal moved into one of these where the activity was more casual socializing. As things in this group settled down Opal milled around under the mangroves until another group a little further away started ramping up and she made straight for them and joined in the frivolity.

  9. 03/25/2021 09:45 AM
    • Opal was traveling with Retale for the entire observation. They were very decisive about heading into a residential canal area that they have frequented before. Once there, they seemed a little less sure which way they wanted to go. They would start up one canal then backtrack, go to a different one then back to one they already went to. They finally settled on a quiet cove where they met up with a mom/calf pair.

  10. 03/22/2021 09:30 AM
    • Opal has been frequenting areas around Apollo Beach, moving back into TECO over the weekend. Today she was resting under the viewing platform with Retale. She opted out of a body condition assessment and traveled out past the first discharge. She met BettySue and they took turns following each other between the discharges. BettySue broke away to greet some new manatees coming into the canal and Opal moved off with another group. 

  11. 03/15/2021 09:00 AM
    • Opal has been making moves in and out of TECO, spending whole days out around Apollo Beach then checking in at TECO. Today she was milling near the viewing platform then moved out between the discharges to rest. Gas was observed. 

  12. 03/10/2021 11:00 AM
    • Opal was milling around between the last couple of discharges following another animal for a little while. She moved behind one of the discharge walls and rested for a long time. Near the end of the observation, she moved out to the center of the canal and started working her way towards the bay.

  13. 03/08/2021 09:00 AM
    • Opal spent her time between the second and third discharges at TECO. She socialized with many different manatees then traveled out towards the exit almost making it to the buoys before turning around as another tagged manatee made its entrance. Opal accompanied Belle down the channel to the viewing platform then Opal went back out to the tidal walk.

  14. 03/05/2021 02:15 PM
    • Opal made a move to TECO with the last cold front. She left today and was close by with multiple manatees doing magnificent things. The whole group was enthusiastically feeding on vegetation washing in with the tide. Opal was off by herself initially but within squeak distance. She maneuvered herself towards the group finding her own patch of food to eat and she did.

  15. 03/02/2021 11:00 AM
    • Opal has been utilizing the grass flats in a shallow area just south of Apollo Beach. During low tide she has been moving into the residential canals and then moving back out at high tide. Today she was resting in one of those canals under a dock.

  16. 02/24/2021 11:45 AM
    • Opal was milling around the first discharge in the TECO canal. She moved toward a big group of manatees and socialized among them. The weekly alarm test went off at the power plant causing all the manatees to disperse. Opal traveled out to the third discharge but then slowly made her way back to the viewing platform where she settled to rest but another manatee, BettySue was against the idea and pestered Opal until she moved back out to the discharges.

  17. 02/22/2021 09:45 AM
    • Opal was resting near the viewing platform at TECO with Viva. A mom and calf came close to them and both girls interacted with them until they left. Opal went back to resting. Viva moved towards Opal head butting her until Opal responded. The two interacted by trying to play with each other’s tag. When Viva decided to rest Opal milled around mouthing leaves on the surface but did not appear to consume any.

  18. 02/18/2021 10:45 AM
    • Opal was released into the TECO canal and milled around the viewing platform briefly. Dex had moved into the canal and interacted with her until she began to travel out towards the bay.

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