About Laroc

Gender: Female
Current Tag Id:

Laroc is a female manatee that was rescued as an orphan in Cape Coral, Lee County on August 14, 2010.  She was transported to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for immediate care and was only 123cm (4ft) long and weighed 63lbs at the time of her rescue.  Laroc was released on February 4, 2013 into Homosassa Spring with two other rehabilitated manatees.  She was 234cm (7ft) long and weighed 695lbs on the day of her release.


  1. 02/09/2014 09:15 AM
    • Laroc was initially observed bottom-resting halfway between the fishbowl and main gate at Homosassa Spring run with 10 other animals.  Shortly after I entered the water she moved towards the captive animal enclosure (possibly in response to captive animal feeding).  Due to good body condition and a great opportunity for gear removal with minimal stress to the animal, her gear was removed at 9:35. 

  2. 02/07/2014 10:40 AM
    • Laroc socialized briefly with one other animal near the Homosassa Spring gate before entering by herself and milling around inside the gate, then leaving and milling down the run.  There were very few other animals around the spring this morning.  Laroc appears to have less green algae on her back than she did last week. 

  3. 02/03/2014 12:40 PM
    • Laroc was calmly milling in a stop-and-start way in a canal south of the upper Halls River, which looked somewhat like she was nibbling on grassilaria on bottom, but could not confirm. 

  4. 01/30/2014 03:25 PM
    • Laroc bottom-rested at Homosassa Spring just inside the gate with one other animal.  I got an in-water body condition and photos of her, and she looked generally good.  The white I had seen on her face and flippers showed some improvement, and her belly still looked good.  She did have a lot more velvety green algae on her dorsal side than she had a week ago, but this may be simply because of her tendency of finding a spot, either the spring or the small spring-fed area in the upper Halls River, and staying there for a few days. 

  5. 01/21/2014 10:25 AM
    • Laroc traveled down from the upper Halls River this morning and made it in to Homosassa Spring.  Lots of animals were there, including Charlie.  Laroc milled and socialized in a small group of 16 near the gate. 

  6. 01/19/2014 01:35 PM
    • This afternoon she milled in the same area of the upper Halls River, which has stayed at spring temperature for the last 3 days.  In-water observations of her showed that she still had mass on her belly.  However, her face and flippers now appear to have some white on them to indicate beginnings of cold stress.  Behaviorally she was normal and displayed her usual level of responsive friendliness to me in the water.  We are going to continue getting 2 visuals per week on her and photos once a week and we will be watching closely for gas to be sure her digestive tract is moving normally. 

  7. 01/17/2014 09:45 AM
    • Laroc milled slowly along the canal by herself, breathing every 4 minutes.  This canal is about 1/3 mile east of Palm Beach Loop where she had previously been observed.  The temperature at Palm Beach Loop this morning was also 21.5 C. 

  8. 01/12/2014 02:00 PM
    • Laroc socialized with Charlie in the 3-ft-deep area which thus far appears it might be a smaller spring in the upper Halls River.  It also seems to be and is reported to be a very low boat-traffic area.
      Laroc has stayed in about a half-mile radius in this area for nearly 2 weeks now instead of going to the spring during the cold front on the 6th, which is out of character for her.  When she was observed here on 1/4/14 she was actively feeding on grassilaria, so it is possible she could be deciding to stay here because the water is warm and unlike at the spring there is food available.  We still want to confirm that the water temperature here is a constant spring temperature, so frequent visuals are going to be made especially during cold fronts to keep checking temperature and watch Laroc closely for cold stress. 



  9. 01/04/2014 02:00 PM
    • Laroc fed on grassilaria by herself in the upper Halls River.  It was uncharacteristic behavior for her to not be at the spring that morning, so we wanted to get eyes on her right away.  An in-water body condition assessment revealed that she looked good, with mass on her belly.  Water temperature in her area was spring temperature, while most of the upper Halls River was several degrees colder that day.  The Halls River is typically shallow in general and very shallow in parts, but Charlie and Laroc have still been able to travel it.  However, with the recent Nor’easter the river was especially low, and we wanted to be sure Laroc was not trapped by the low tides.  She has apparently found a warm mini-lake that still has lots of grassilaria, possibly a smaller spring; locals say the water there is always warm.  We will increase the frequency of our visuals to be sure Laroc does not develop cold stress.  Thanks very much to the staff at Homosassa Springs State Park for their help with boat maintenance and networking to help us get to Laroc quickly, and thanks so much to the Vboda family for keeping an eye on both Laroc and Charlie whenever they are in the area. 

  10. 12/23/2013 08:25 AM
    • Laroc socialized with Charlie on the bank of the upper Halls River.  Neither have left the Homosassa area since the very beginning of winter; they both leave the spring when it gets warmer to go up the Halls River to eat and then respond to cold fronts early, returning to the spring. 

  11. 12/12/2013 09:10 AM
    • Laroc bottom-rested directly under the Homosassa Spring gate with 2 other animals.  When the group woke up they milled inside the spring and did some socializing. 

  12. 11/29/2013 08:10 AM
    • Laroc bottom-rested on the ledge near the fishbowl area of the boil at Homosassa Spring.  There were lots of animals at the spring. 

  13. 11/16/2013 10:10 AM
    • The gates at Homosassa Spring have now been opened, which probably made Laroc very happy since from her behavior on her periodic visits to the spring it seemed that she wanted to get through them.  She was there this morning socializing with 2 other animals plus a belted manatee which turned out to be Charlie.  During the process of re-tagging Charlie she continued to socialize with the other animals and travel around the spring with them, sometimes rubbing noses with Charlie and also seeming to want to socialize with me. 

  14. 11/11/2013 11:15 AM
    • She was about halfway up the Halls River this morning, staying still on bottom and occasionally milling around the area by herself.  There was plenty of hydrilla on bottom but it was not overgrown to the point that it would hinder boating.  No boaters in the area even though it was a holiday, so this has remained a nice quiet spot. 

  15. 11/09/2013 08:00 AM
    • Susan from Homosassa park staff observed Laroc socializing with another small adult at the spring gate. 

  16. 11/02/2013 10:50 AM
    • Laroc milled from Halls River bridge toward Homosassa Spring gate by herself, then mouthed the bars and occasionally rolled over slowly and appeared to rub her back on bottom.  At one point she had gas, telling us she has been feeding, and she stopped to briefly eat some floating leaves near the gate.  Laroc still looks great, with a slightly rounded belly and no folds. 

  17. 10/27/2013 01:42 PM
    • A few wild manatees have started to make their way to the Homosassa Spring area.  Laroc bottom-rested with a few of them down the river a little way west of the spring, then the group woke up and milled a little further west, looking like they might turn north up Halls River. 

  18. 10/18/2013 08:20 AM
    • This morning Laroc slept on bottom in the deeper area by the viewing platform at Homosassa Spring, then woke up and fed on the grassilaria along the bottom.  She was by herself.  Now that summer is over it has been much quieter at the spring.

  19. 09/26/2013 01:45 PM
    • I found Laroc unexpectedly un-tagged today at Homosassa Spring, but instead of her usual lengthy visit she popped in and then popped back out...much to my dismay as I had scrambled into the water after her, and Trisha's from Homosassa Park staff as well since she was walking around trying to spot her for me.  Because of the recent rains and flooding, water clarity was quite poor even in the spring, except right at the gate.  The anchored boats and swimmers at the spring were few and not at all loud.  A little while later Laroc was found under Fishbowl bridge socializing with two adults and a calf.  I was able to re-tag her there and confirm that she still looks very good.  They continued to socialize and then one of the adults started feeding on the roots of common reed along the north bank of the bridge, followed by the others.

  20. 09/12/2013 01:25 PM
    • As I approached the Homosassa Spring area from the river, it appeared that Laroc was possibly being chased by a family on a pontoon boat.  Unfortunately they left the area by the time I got within range of giving them information about Laroc and asking them not to pursue her, but she stayed in the area and continued to mill along the bank.  It seems that she is returning with more frequency to the spring in the last two months than she had been during the summer, but this time she stayed by the Fishbowl bridge during the observation period instead of sticking close to the gate. 

  21. 09/09/2013 10:50 AM
    • Laroc is continuing her habit of periodically stopping by Homosassa Spring gate and nosing the bars, which is where she was found Monday morning.  She then turned and traveled southwest down the spring run and around the corner to the small quiet cove to bottom-rest.  The spring run was comparatively quiet that morning, with only two boats, no activity, and no swimmers, but Laroc may have learned the system by now and decided to seek out her quiet spot before it got busy.  She still looks very good, and her older propeller cuts are healing. 

  22. 08/25/2013 07:35 AM
    • This morning she was found staying still on the river bottom north of the Halls River Bridge with one other animal.  She could have possibly been feeding on southern naiad and grassilaria but this could not be confirmed.  She then milled north toward the river’s big bend. 

  23. 08/17/2013 04:20 PM
    • Laroc slowly milled north along the bank near Homosassa Spring from Fishbowl bridge toward the spring gate.  There were lots of anchored boats and swimmers, and Laroc swam very close to the bank to avoid everyone.  She stopped momentarily to eat leaves and algae from the water surface, then kept moving toward the gate where she stayed near the bars.  Recreational boaters and swimmers were interested in her but kindly kept their distance as asked in order to help her become more and more of a wild animal again.  Much appreciated! 

  24. 08/09/2013 12:55 PM
    • Laroc and a friend socialized with each other and briefly with a dolphin who stopped by, then milled slowly northward along the west bank of Halls River near the entrance to the Nature’s Resort canal.  They may have been browsing the vegetation along the bank but this could not be confirmed. 

  25. 08/02/2013 03:45 PM
    • Found Laroc feeding again on hydrilla with one other animal, going slowly along the bank of the west corner of Hall’s River’s big bend.  It’s very encouraging to see her eating good substantial food and having a good healthy weight.  This was also a nice low boat traffic area. 

  26. 08/02/2013 03:45 PM
    • Found Laroc feeding again on hydrilla with one other animal, going slowly along the bank of the west corner of Hall’s River’s big bend.  It’s very encouraging to see her eating good substantial food and having a good healthy weight.  This was also a nice low boat traffic area. 

  27. 07/28/2013 01:33 PM
    • July 27: Laroc spent a great deal of the visual with her nose and mouth close to or on the spring gate while rubbing her tail against a log. When I got in the water to get an underwater body condition on her, she did socialize with me but then went back to the gate. She looked very good, with a rounded belly and no folds, some fat rolls still around her face, and a good-sized peduncle.

  28. 07/23/2013 07:54 PM
    • During the July 22 observation, Laroc spent the entire visual feeding on hydrilla on the north shore of the big bend. Halls River has a lot of hydrilla right now. I did not see any other animals with her or in the area, but it is a popular spot for feeding and cavorting so she should meet up with a group soon.


  29. 07/18/2013 12:43 PM
    • On July 17 Laroc stayed with one other animal, milling around the banks of the area. It is usually quiet there but several boats passed through the center of the channel; she stayed out of the way. It is a very, very shallow area but is unfortunately only a slow zone during manatee season according to signage.

  30. 07/09/2013 03:01 PM
    • On July 8 Laroc was observed, along with a mother and calf pair, slowly moving along the south bank of the Halls River, stopping often and staying together.

  31. 06/21/2013 04:31 PM
    • On June 20 there were lots of anchored boats and swimmers in the spring run, and Laroc was traveling, on her way out of the run and into the small quiet cove immediately to the west when a mother-calf pair came by also. She then settled down to bottom-rest.

  32. 06/17/2013 08:41 PM
    • On June 16 Laroc was back to milling around the gate, staying near it, sometimes mouthing the bars and at times milling down the run, staying in the no-boat-entry zone. She fed for a few brief minutes on some leaves on the bottom plus the grassilaria in the spring run, which seems to be a little more plentiful now. Melody got an in-water body condition on her and she still looked good. There were lots of anchored boats and swimmers in the spring run, but she confined her milling to the no-entry zone.

  33. 06/12/2013 08:28 PM
    • On June 11 there were lots of anchored boats and swimmers in the spring run, which may have scared Laroc off from the spring run gate. She was staying still on the bottom by herself in the quiet, hidden cove behind the spring run, with regular 4-minute breath intervals. Then she began milling calmly around the cove.

  34. 06/05/2013 03:14 PM
    • June 4: Laroc seems to have gone back to milling around the spring gate by herself, mouthing the gate itself at times.

  35. 05/25/2013 08:43 PM
    • May 24, Laroc was found milling with a group of ten manatees, then continued northeast around the bend and met up with Charlie, Wooten, and 5 others and socialized.

  36. 05/20/2013 02:27 PM
    • On May 19, a citizen visual of Laroc was reported to FWC in Homosassa. Laroc was milling around in the canal basin behind their house. No other manatees were observed with her. This sighting occurred the first day Laroc moved down the Homosassa River away from the HSSP main gate.

  37. 05/01/2013 10:05 PM
    • On April 30 Laroc milled around the gate, again seeming like she was trying to find a way in, settled down by the north bank, then resumed milling by the gate.

  38. 04/23/2013 09:49 PM
    • On April 22, as Laroc was socializing with Charlie, I obtained an in-water body condition assessment since she has mostly been staying close to the spring gate.  She was very interactive with me in the water and followed me back to shore.

  39. 04/23/2013 03:36 PM
    • As Laroc was socializing with Charlie on April 22, an in-water body condition assessment was obtained.  Laroc has mostly been keeping close to the spring gate. She was very interactive with me in the water and followed me back to shore.

  40. 04/19/2013 09:41 PM
    • On April 18 Laroc was observed milling in the spring run and was approached by another small animal.  She seemed to avoid contact at first, then socialized for about 20 minutes and then resumed milling.  When she got to the gate she mouthed the algae and leaves on bottom for a minute but it could not be confirmed whether she actually ingested anything.

  41. 04/10/2013 09:38 PM
    • On April 9 Laroc was initially in the spring run from out in the river before settling down on the run's north bank. Then Charlie came in to meet her and they socialized.

  42. 04/02/2013 09:42 PM
    • Laroc ventured away from the gate this morning and went west down the river along the south bank.  She may possibly have been feeding on the algae along the wall, but could not confirm.

  43. 03/31/2013 09:37 PM
    • On March 30 Laroc slowly paced along the gate from one bank to the other, seeming to methodically test it for an entry point.  Then she settled down with a small group and bottom-rested.

  44. 03/15/2013 08:00 PM
    • On March 14 Laroc still seemed upset that the gate had been closed the previous afternoon, pacing just outside it and poking around it as if she were trying to find a way in. Then she went over to the group that included Wooten and Charlie and socialized.

  45. 03/10/2013 05:49 PM
    • On March 9, Laroc was milling along the bank, occasionally joined by one other animal.  About 30 other animals were in the area.

  46. 03/09/2013 05:45 PM
    • On March 8 Laroc seemed to enjoy harassing the divers cleaning the underwater observatory windows at the boil, then socialized with another animal there.


  47. 03/02/2013 05:19 PM
    • On March 1 Laroc stayed mainly within the gated area at the boil, coming out of the gate once during the visual, milling a few feet out, and then turning around and going back to the gated area again. There were one or two other animals in the gated area but she didn't socialize with them during the visual.


  48. 02/28/2013 05:17 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.


  49. 02/26/2013 10:49 PM
    • On February 24, Laroc appeared to be the only manatee at the spring that afternoon, calmly milling around. She had passed back through the gate and stayed in that area.

  50. 02/20/2013 06:06 PM
    • On February 19, Laroc was observed playing and socializing within a group but did not appear to be the focal animal.  At one point a dive tour boat passed within about 30 feet of her and she responded by leaving the area and milling east along the opposite bank.


  51. 02/08/2013 09:11 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 Laroc.