About Mo

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id:

Mo was rescued in Citrus County in August 1994. At that time he had a total length of 124 cm. He was released in April 1998 into the Crystal River, but quickly wandered offshore, spent 4 weeks drifting in the Gulf of Mexico and ended up near the Dry Tortugas. He was captured and transported back to SeaWorld. This trip was not common for wild animals and was a very unusual documentation of manatee travel. He has been housed recently at the Lowry Park Zoo. He was released again into the Crystal River on 13 February 2002 with the hope that this time he would learn how to use warm water sources and where to feed from other local animals. Unfortunately, Mo was not successful at adapting and was brought back into captivity. He was released into Crystal River again on 9 August 2005.

  1. 06/25/2017 01:54 AM
    • We are so sorry to report that the staff of the pathobiology lab recovered the carcass of Mo on the afternoon of 6/25/17. He had been rescued as an orphan in August 1994 from Citrus County, and was released in Crystal River in 1998. He was rescued two months later when he wandered out into the Gulf of Mexico to the Dry Tortugas, then released again in Chassahowitzka in 2002. By winter 2003 he had become emaciated, so was rescued again, but after his subsequent release in 2005 he only needed one more intervention--to assist with an entanglement--before he learned to thrive in the wild. There has been a consistent history of successful winter sightings of him at TECO power plant in Apollo Beach.
      He was identified by PIT tags and still had his freezebrands. The carcass was reported in Safety Harbor that morning and was found in advanced stage of decomposition, so cause of death could not be determined.  
      Mo was a great example of how the perseverance and dedication of the MRP can help even the toughest cases become success stories.

  2. 04/24/2007 09:25 PM
    • 2/25/07:
      Sticking close to TECO for the past few weeks during the cold periods with only a few trips out to feed just south of Apollo Beach. During his tag exchange on Thursday 2/22, was able to feel his belly and it was not concave.
      4/24, 2007:
      From biologist, Lucy Keith
      At 1:30pm today I cut Mo's telemetry gear off in Tampa Bay. I started watching his movements via Argos on Friday, and he spent the last few days on a grassflat south of Teco power plant. He was there today feeding as I swam up to him (I could hear him munching away) and only moved off a little as I cut the belt off, then circled around and came up behind me to check me out afterwards. He was alone but looked good and the grassflat was a nice Halodule bed.
      Huge thanks go to FWC's Margie Barlas and the staff of MMPL for loaning mea boat and truck after my boat had techinical difficulties this morning! And to Cyndi Taylor for coming and joining me on the adventure. I think it's wonderful that after 3 releases and multiple recaptures over many years, numerous health assessments and stays at probably all the Oceanaria in Florida, Mo has finally become a rehab. Success story!
  3. 11/11/2006 09:24 PM
      Mo moved out of the Tampa Bay ’s Lake Tarpon canal towards the end of July into the Mobbly Bay and then into Double Branch Creek on 08/01/06 . He was seen feeding on almost all of his visual observations after 07/07/06 . His move into Double Branch Creek was surprising since the area is extremely shallow getting into the creek and we have never actually tracked any other animals into the creek before. But once in the area, it became clear why a manatee would like this creek…lots of Halodule grasses at the mouth, cooler waters in the creek compared to the bay and lots of mangrove refuge from the wind. Mo was also observed feeding and socializing with other manatees on a routine bases while in Lake Tarpon canal and now in Double Branch Creek.
      Mo was captured on 08/11/06 for his “final” health assessment, twelve months after his release. He had been observed traveling and socializing with one other animal in Tampa Bay ’s Double Branch Creek during an earlier morning visual. He was bottom resting with one other animal when the capture boat approached. The two animals quickly separated and Mo was captured on the first net set.
      Blood, morphometrics, ultrasound, weight and fecal were obtained. Dr. David Murphy Lowry Park Zoo gave Mo an overall condition of good, with a body score of 3. He lost 5 lbs since his last health assessment on 04/1706 with an overall lost of 185 lbs since release on 08/09/05 . His belly was nice and round, skin firm and no emaciated signs were apparent. He did have a new small skeg scar on his back but very superficial and healing normally. Blood values are currently pending.
      Straight body length was 280 cm (+ - 4 cm) with a weight of 850 lbs.
      Ultrasound readings showed decreases across the board and were considered below normal. Peduncle and anus girth measurements had decreased and were considered below normal.
      Even though Mo looked better than he did during his last capture, he still had some values which raised concerns for the upcoming winter. The decision was made to keep him tagged through the upcoming winter to monitor his behavior and body condition. Based on resources, we will bump down his visual frequency to once a week but will of course increase the frequency if any concerns arise. Behaviorally, we have been pretty happy with what we have seen but were not completely comfortable with values obtained and thought it would be better to play things on the conservative side to learn more about these lean male’s adaptability. Mo was outfitted with a new belt, tether and tag and re-released into Double Branch Creek. He immediately swam back into a cove and began to bottom rest.
      Mo has remained in the Double Branch Creek area since his capture on 8/11/06 . The number of wild manatee sightings in the area has decreased over the past month but Mo’s feeding rate has increased. Mo also has also taken several trips out of the creek into Mobbly Bay but he usually returns to the creek within a day’s time. Now for a Mo story you are just going to love…or hate. On 9/27/06 , FWC pathlab got a call about an entangled manatee which happened to be Mo. The report was that the tag was tied to a tree. The complainant had pulled the rope out of the mangroves but couldn’t free the rope from the tag. Katie Brill from FWC kayaked to the area and found one end of the 42 ft nylon rope tied to the large joiner of the tether. Afterwards, looking at the GPS locations and Mo’s movement, Mo had moved to the area where he was “entangled” around 1030, the report came in at 1048. He was freed by 1615 with no adverse effects. He started swimming around again at 1645 according to GPS locations. It seems as though he took that opportunity to rest and to not break his tether…thanks Mo. And thank you to everyone that worked to set him free.
      Mo traveled back and forth between Double Branch Creek and Mobbly Bay throughout the month of October. Since 10/19/06 , he was seen intensely feeding on Halodule during all of the visual observations. On 11/05/06 , Mo began to travel south and visited sites northeast of the Gandy Bridge and areas from MacDill to Ballast Point. On 11/09/06 , Mo did plot out at TECO power plant for approximately half the day. He was observed feeding alone near MacDill on 11/10/06 . Go Mo!!!!
  4. 07/08/2006 09:22 PM
    • 1/20/06:
      We attempted to capture Mo on 1/18/06 without success. The plan was to be on the water to try and capture Mo out in Kings Bay before he moved into the sanctuaries around his routine scheduled time of 830am. At 750am Mo was located traveling quickly through Kings Bay and unfortunately arrived into the Magnolia Spring sanctuary at 814am. Due to the extremely high water, the capture boat could not proceed under the bridge, so the capture was called off at this time.
      All proceeded to the boat ramp, except Bob Bonde who continued to Three Sisters to do some photoID. Upon arriving at the spring, Bob noticed Mo traveling up the run and notified Nicole Adimey which called the troops to let us know Mo’s new location. Permission to use the private land adjacent to Three Sisters had previously been established, so all resources were switched for a land set. There were over two dozen manatees resting in the large spring along with Mo. A plan was formulated to swim a small net around Mo while encouraging other manatees to move out of the circumference of the net. Unfortunately, Mo moved out into the middle of the spring and was encouraged to go into the inner parameter of the net. He very quickly went out of the net near the opening and could not be herding back to the capture site.
      We were able to obtain an excellent look at his body condition and Mo has increased in abdominal depth since observed on 12/30/05 . Bonde and Ryan Berger also confirmed that Mo had a much better body condition than what was observed during their observations of him in December. Currently, Mo has a convex shape to his lower abdomen and no concavity was apparent. Based on the difficulty to catch Mo and observed improvement in condition, the capture was called off. Another health assessment will be scheduled if or when Mo changes his movement patterns to allow us a chance to capture him in Kings Bay . We will continue to monitor Mo for any decline in body condition or behavior shut-down signs. If critical health concerns arise, we will attempt to capture Mo immediately.
      Also, we will continue to try and get good body condition photographs for the group. Water clarity has not been at its best when Mo has been in accessible swimmer areas.
      Mo was reported in the Nokomis area on 5/9/06 with one other animal. He was relocated on 5/10 traveling south alone along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Manatees are known to take this route instead of using the intracoastal waterway. Mo swam almost to Manasota and for some reason turned back north at this location. He was traveling about five feet from shore and at a very fast clip. A tag exchange was completed as he continued to travel north along Casey Key. Currently, Mo is in Sarasota Bay. Definitely cannot say he is lethargic! Thank you to FWC and Mote for your updates on Mo sightings. A side note, someone tried to take Mo's tags off...about 1/2 hour after getting a safety clipped on. They pulled off the heat shrink from the antennas and bent an antenna into a 90 degree angle. Gotta love those good Samaritans that cannot read...."Manatee Tag Do Not Touch" on the top of a tag.

      Since early June, Mo has remained in the Lake Tarpon Canal located north of Safety Harbor in Tampa Bay. He had been seen routinely with other manatees but we had not documented any feeding behavior until this week. We did some "recon" work looking for vegetation and it was discovered there is a freshwater submerged vegetation sporadically along the bank of this canal. Mangrove and Pepper Tree leaves are also available along the shoreline. Mo was observed milling and feeding on/off during the visual observation on 7/6/06 and was bottom resting the following day near the same area. He was by himself and unfortunately water clarity prevented us from getting an underwater look at his body condition. From what we could see, his body condition appears normal and with lots of barnacle growth. Freshwater is readily available from drain pipes (and of course the dam itself). We will try and get a good underwater visual if possible over the next few weeks. Just finding it "odd" that he moved so much last month and this month he has occupied such a small area. But this area has animals moving in/out on a regular bases and is known as a calving area. Mo and his females :) Will keep you all posted.

  5. 11/21/2005 09:19 PM
    • 9/10/05:
      Mo has remained in the Kings Bay area of Crystal River since his release. He has been with other manatees for the majority of the visuals...mother/calf pairs predominately. Mo has been observed feeding on FW vegetation and socializing when new animals come into his immediate area. We also have noted that he has displayed excellent boat avoidance.
      Mo was captured on 11/1/05 for his first health assessment, three months after his release. He was milling around and feeding with 3 other animals in Kings Bay , West of Hunters Spring. Mo was captured on the first net set. One other manatee (male) was pulled up on the boat with Mo but was immediately released. No obvious scars or other identification.
      Blood, morphometrics, ultrasound and weight were obtained. No fecal samples were available. Dr. David Murphy Lowry Park Zoo gave Mo an overall condition of good, with a body score of 3. He lost 170lbs (16%) since his release on 8/09/05 . His belly was flat with loose skin but no longitudinal skin folds were apparent. Blood values are currently pending. Ultrasound readings showed decreases across the board. Umbilicus and anus readings were considered normal and the peduncle reading fell below normal. Peduncle and anus girth measurements were considered normal and the umbilicus girth was slightly below normal.
      Mo’s belt was tightened to help reduce further irritation to a new rub spot received from this year’s belt. Rub spots are not common but for some reason Mo is prone to these. The GPS tag was exchanged so he now has a red tag with a yellow/red antenna. After Mo’s release, he traveled around the canals of Hunters Spring.
      Mo had been observed feeding on numerous occasions. Thus, we were amazed at the amount of weight and fat he had lost since his release. He is almost always with other animals and is active and responsive, equivalent to other manatees in the area. Monthly underwater visual observations will be obtained to watch for any appearance of a concave belly during this upcoming winter season.
      Mo has remained in Kings Bay since his health assessment on 11/1/05 . He has made a few quick trips down Crystal River but not out of the river. Mo has been associated with a mother calf pair during several observations and shows excellent boat avoidance, to the extent that his natural behavior was being altered. During one weekend observation, 5 tour boats and two recreational boats approached Mo within 30 minutes. Mo was observed to move away from the boats when they got within 20 feet of him. He eventually moved out of the area to a new location which had less boat traffic. Local dive/tour shops were contacted and requested to not use Mo for “swim encounters” and to keep boats at least 30 ft from him to help allow him to conduct his natural behavior like feeding or resting (conserving energy). The day before the sanctuaries were enacted in Kings Bay , Mo was observed continuously on the move for four hours. He was observed traveling to Magnolia, Gator hole and 3 Sisters springs but left each area after being approached by tour or recreational boats. Once he was out of that area, he was observed traveling along the shoreline northward into and out of the waters north of Pete’s Pier. He was briefly observed socializing with one other animal and then continued to travel back into the Magnolia Springs area.

Data map is currently not present for Mo.