About Wooten

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id:

Wooten is a male manatee that was rescued as an orphan near Everglades City, Collier County on February 15, 2010.  He was transported to Miami Seaquarium for immediate care and was only 132cm (4ft) long and weighed only 97lbs at the time of his rescue.  Wooten was transferred to Cincinnati Zoo as he continued to grow and gain weight in preparation for his return to the wild. He returned to Florida via Miami Seaquarium and  Homosassa Spring State Park for transition in preparation for release. Wooten was released on February 4, 2013 into Homosassa Spring with two other rehabilitated manatees.  He was 243cm (8ft) long and weighed 645lbs on the day of his release.

  1. 10/18/2013 11:27 AM
    • A routine visual on Wooten in Kings Bay was attempted on 10/18/13, but unfortunately we recovered his entire set of equipment--tag, tether, and belt--which had been cut off of him.  The equipment was found in the northwest corner of Kings Bay in a small cove just west of where the channel begins.  Crystal River Refuge was informed and an investigation will be conducted into this very disturbing matter.  We are saddened that this could happen in an area where so many citizens are well-informed about manatees in general, and the very sensitive process of a naive animal being re-introduced back into the wild in particular. 

  2. 10/06/2013 02:10 PM
    • According to the Argos site Wooten had been hanging out in the usually quiet, Slow Speed area of Bagley Cove.  When this visual began he had probably just crossed the channel to the south bank and was traveling along it well outside of the channel with two other animals.  Throughout the visual they kept close to the bank, out of the way of boat traffic, and stopped to socialize before continuing to mill east toward Kings Bay.  

      As well as consistently showing that he is fairly savvy about boat traffic, Wooten has explored 3 other spring-fed areas this summer as well as his release site in Homosassa:  Chassahowitzka, Weeki Wachee, and Kings Bay.  Hopefully he keeps this up and will be well-equipped for life in the wild.

  3. 09/12/2013 11:45 AM

      Wooten and a friend fed on naiad and grassilaria along the north bank of the eastern end of Homosassa River between MacRae’s and Halls River.  When he stopped and milled east, he made his typical smart choice and stayed very close to the bank, giving a wide berth to a running but docked dredge when he heard it.  He continued on throughout the early afternoon back to Halls River. 

  4. 09/02/2013 11:50 AM

      It was good to see that Wooten had made it back to peaceful Halls River before the holiday weekend.  He and 3 other animals were milling south along the bank of the river about half a mile northeast of the river’s big bend.  There were a few slow-moving boats around the Nature's Resort ramp but no boat traffic at Wooten's location. 

  5. 08/20/2013 10:40 AM

      Wooten bottom-rested along the south bank of the Weeki Wachee River near marker 43 until I approached him for his tag exchange.  During the process he began to move a little and slowly circled me to investigate.  He looked very good, with a slightly rounded belly, no belly folds, and no new scars.  I made sure to check his belt and did not find any areas where the belt fit too tightly or was cutting into skin.  Although he was by himself that morning, he had me to socialize with.  I was also told by boaters that there was another large adult in the area.  Thanks to local businesses on the river for keeping an eye out for Wooten. 

  6. 08/15/2013 10:50 AM

      He spent the first part of the visual milling by himself around the pilings of the pier at Bayport Park at the mouth of the Weeki Wachee River, then crossed to the south side of the river mouth and continued milling east up the river.  The previous day FWC had received a report from a citizen that his belt appeared too tight.  I got another look at Wooten in clear water and did not see any rub marks or areas where the belt might be cutting into skin.  I plan to be in the water with Wooten again soon for his upcoming tag exchange and will then be able to take an even closer look to be sure. 

  7. 08/12/2013 02:45 PM

      That afternoon he was bottom-resting in the Weeki Wachee River about one mile from the mouth of the river on the south bank with 3 other animals, and several more in the nearby area.  I took advantage of the clear water to get an in-water body condition on him and found that he looks very good, with a slightly rounded belly, no belly folds, and enough fat around his neck and peduncle. 

  8. 08/06/2013 12:40 PM

       Wooten was found in the Chassahowitzka River on the east bank of the entrance to Stevens Creek with two other manatees.  Again in a place out of the way of boat traffic and with a group, he socialized with the others near the bank and then everyone went to sleep.  There was another group of three manatees socializing near the bank by the kayak rental shop when I returned around 2:00 pm. 

  9. 07/29/2013 02:25 PM

      Wooten had again wisely picked a spot out of the way of most boat traffic:  the northern end of Fish Creek in the St. Martin’s River in Ozello.  And as it turned out, it was also a great area for feeding as it had everything available in large amounts--thalassia, syringonium, halodule, mangroves, and algae.  Wooten and a group of 5 other manatees fed on syringonium and halodule, and after I had anchored and shut down the boat the entire group came over to briefly investigate me, then returned to feeding. 

  10. 07/22/2013 12:46 PM
    • On July 21 Wooten stayed along the bank of the creek, socializing and then bottom-resting. Upon awakening he milled southeast toward the Crystal River channel, which was heavy with boat traffic at planing speed, but then seemed to think better of it and stayed along the north shoreline in the quieter coves. So far Wooten has been good at picking spots that are out of the way of most boat traffic, which is no small feat in this season.

  11. 07/13/2013 12:37 PM
    • On July 12 Wooten socialized with two adults, then traveled and milled along the edge of the cove, staying with the others. This week there was not as much boat traffic in the channel as there has been on the Homosassa River, but it was getting ready to storm by the end of this observation. There was no boat traffic at all in or around the cove that Wooten and company picked.

  12. 06/21/2013 04:28 PM
    • Upon our arrival on June 20, a jet ski passed the group of 4 animals including Wooten and Charlie on plane at close range, making them travel away. After that Wooten socialized with the others, staying on the sidelines for about an hour when the other 3 began cavorting, and finally joining in.

  13. 06/12/2013 08:27 PM
    • On June 11 Wooten was found traveling south in Halls River. He slowed down and began milling around the big bend in the river, passing close to the boat and showing that he had several new shallow surface scars: 3 small cuts down his left side and one tiny faded propeller series. He also rolled to the side and revealed a nice rounded belly with no folds He continued milling in the big bend and met up with another animal and began feeding on the hydrilla and grassilaria on bottom, then they stopped feeding and just stayed in the area, socializing.

  14. 06/05/2013 03:11 PM
    • On June 4, Wooten was found socializing in a group, which turned into a cavorting group. After about 20 minutes the group went back to socializing.

  15. 05/25/2013 08:45 PM
    • On May 24, Wooten socialized with Charlie and six other animals when Laroc joined the group. Then he milled south, back toward the bend, and joined a mating herd.

  16. 05/16/2013 08:31 PM
    • On May 15, Wooten appeared to be traveling by himself east down the river, then stopped and socialized when he met up with a group of three others. They stayed together, milling and socializing, crossing the channel together and heading east along the south bank.

  17. 05/01/2013 10:06 PM
    • On April 30 Wooten participated in what seemed like a fairly calm mating herd with 5 other animals for about an hour, then settled down to socialize with a larger group.

  18. 04/26/2013 10:03 PM
    • On April 26 Wooten fed on grassilaria and milfoil with another animal along the bank, then the two milled together south down the river.

  19. 04/25/2013 10:02 PM
    • On April 25 a citizen at observed Wooten cavorting with at least two other animals.

  20. 04/12/2013 09:44 PM
    • On April 11 Wooten was observed calmly milling south, then north again.

  21. 04/10/2013 09:55 PM
    • On April 9 a citizen reported that Wooten was swimming around near the citizen’s dock and fed on grassilaria.

  22. 04/03/2013 09:44 PM
    • On April 2, Wooten traveled north from just south of the bridge along the east bank with speed.  He slowed down once a vegetation harvester passed through the middle of the channel but did not seem to work too hard to avoid it and passed behind it within 20 ft.  He then continued traveling north at a slower pace.

  23. 03/30/2013 09:39 PM
    • On March 30 Wooten milled in the area of the buoy line.  A small boat entered the area. Wooten approached and remained within 20 feet of the boat.

  24. 03/15/2013 08:02 PM
    • On March 14 Wooten was part of a group that stayed still on the bottom together close to the bank.


  25. 03/10/2013 05:48 PM
    • On March 9, Wooten was socializing in the sanctuary.  About 30 other animals were in the area.

  26. 03/09/2013 05:44 PM
    • On March 8 Wooten fed on algae along the stone wall on the south bank outside the spring until dive tour boats entered the area.  He came over and parked beside one boat for about 30 minutes but did not receive any human attention, so he milled away.  We greatly appreciate this and thanks to all who are helping to keep the rehab process as natural as possible.

  27. 02/28/2013 05:19 PM
    • On February 27 Laroc and Wooten stayed together at the boil within the gated area, swimming around together, meeting the captive manatees at their fences and nosing them through the wire, plus a lot of nosing each other.


  28. 02/25/2013 06:08 PM
    • On February 19, Wooten was playful and energetic in a group for about half the observation period, then he socialized. He was always with other animals. There were 3 dive boats in the area and all steered clear of interaction with tagged animals. Wooten stopped right beside one of the dive boats but no one went near him.

  29. 02/13/2013 04:33 PM
    • On February 12, staff from Homosassa Springs State Park reported seeing Wooten in a breeding group.

  30. 02/08/2013 09:13 PM
    • Charlie, Laroc and Wooten were released on February 4, 2013 into Homosassa Spring. They were all placed into the Homosassa Spring State Park (HSSP) back pool and the gate between the main spring and the back pool was opened. This was a great system HSSP developed! After the gate had been open for about 20 minutes, Wooten and Laroc were the first to go out the gate and down the channel. And then turned right back around and swam back into the pool. They did go back out and began to explore in a back and forth pattern further away from the pool. Charlie was a bit slower out the channel and was observed pacing in tight circles on and off for over an hour while in the main spring. All animals were observed socializing on and off with wild manatees in the spring. At 13:35, Wooten traveled out of the main spring with a wild manatee into the blue water area of Homosassa River while Charlie and Laroc continued to explore the main spring together. Since release, Charlie and Laroc have stayed close to the main spring and blue water area. Wooten has been the explorer and has traveled back and forth for several miles.

Data map is currently not present for Wooten.