About Cheeno

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id:

Cheeno is a male manatee rescued from Cape Coral on February 15, 2012.  He was found as an orphaned calf at 153 cm long and weighing 141 lbs.  He received medical care at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa and later was transferred to South Florida Museum in Bradenton until cleared for release.  He was 740 lbs and 249 cm long at his most recent health assessment.  Cheeno was released in the Orange River in Fort Myers, Florida, on January 7, 2014. 

  1. 02/21/2015 12:30 PM
    • The sonic signal on Cheeno’s belt was heard at Marker 5 in the Orange River, where there seemed to be at least 50 other animals socializing and bottom-resting.  Melody was able to get only one faint visual on Cheeno, who stayed down in deeper spots and would not surface near her, but he appeared to look good.  During the attempt to re-tag him another manatee swam between she and Cheeno and Cheeno moved away.  The attempt was unsuccessful but it was great to be able to confirm that Cheeno has survived his first year back in the wild and appears to be doing well. 

  2. 06/05/2014 12:50 PM
    • Cheeno spent the day socializing and mating in a large group of 10.  Even with the distraction, they were quick to move off when approached.  Still, I thought if this behavior kept up through the week that I might get some good opportunities, but unfortunately for the rest of the week I haven't been able to find Cheeno in any of his frequented spots or anywhere else in the area. 

  3. 05/07/2014 11:35 AM
    • Cheeno traveled west down the north bank of the Caloosahatchee River from the 31 bridge, presumably in response to our boat, with one small and one large adult, perhaps from the same group we keep seeing him with.  At one point we would have had a great opportunity for re-tagging as he began to bottom-rest in shallow water close to shore, but almost immediately the wake from a very large vessel traveling through the channel 100 feet away crashed into shore and sent Cheeno traveling away. 

  4. 04/23/2014 11:50 AM
    • At first Cheeno was socializing in the Caloosahatchee River near the 31 bridge with 1-2 others, staying very close to them.  Then, possibly when I was preparing to get in the water, the group traveled west down the river and left the area, continuing to travel. 

  5. 04/21/2014 03:20 PM
    • This afternoon Cheeno had returned to the cove across from Sweetwater Landing in the Caloosahatchee River, socializing with at least one other animal and feeding on the grassilaria on bottom. 

  6. 04/12/2014 12:10 PM
    • Cheeno and the other animal he was with never stopped traveling for the entire visual.  Possibly in response to our boat approaching, he left the cove on the north bank across from Sweetwater Landing and traveled west down the river, entering the north cut he was seen in on 4/02/14.  He never stopped, just continued to travel in and then back out of the cut, then slowed down a little and headed back to the 31 bridge. 

  7. 04/02/2014 01:15 PM
    • He was found traveling west along the north bank of the Caloosahatchee River about halfway between the entrance to the Orange River and the 31 bridge.  He entered the north cut there and milled around the edge of mangrove islands, possibly diving underneath the edges and through the root system.  One other animal was in the area, possibly more but we could not confirm.  He was very boat-sensitive today.  We tried approaching him for re-tagging but he immediately traveled away. 

  8. 03/31/2014 12:10 PM
    • Still with the same group of 3 other animals, Cheeno milled east closer to the 31 bridge and fed on bottom.  Melody attempted an approach but all the animals took off before the tag could be re-attached.  He avoided her during all subsequent attempts and spent the rest of the visual milling and then traveling west toward the entrance to the Orange River. 

  9. 03/28/2014 03:35 PM
    • After searching the area, Cheeno was found late this afternoon via belt sonic in the Orange River west of the power plant.  He socialized in a group with at least 6 others but reacted to our boat being in the area and traveled west through the oxbow.  The group stopped and socialized, but Cheeno avoided all attempts to re-tag him and then continued to travel all the way back out to the Caloosahatchee River. 

  10. 03/21/2014 04:15 PM
    • In the morning Cheeno and possibly the others must have moved to another spot.  We were not able to locate them until later that afternoon when they returned to the same cove.  Cheeno stayed there milling and traveling around the docks and avoiding all re-tag attempts before traveling west into the channel. 

  11. 03/19/2014 10:36 AM
    • Cheeno was milling with the same group of animals further west of the 31 bridge, sometimes staying around docks and along the bank.  He was evasive during all re-tagging attempts.  The group traveled across the channel and avoided boats, then Cheeno went into a marina where he milled and traveled to continue avoiding me. 

  12. 03/18/2014 01:50 PM
    • Found Cheeno again via belt sonic in the cove on the north bank at the 31 bridge.  He and 3 others fed intermittently on grassilaria, but again he traveled and milled away to avoid any attempts to re-tag him. 

  13. 03/16/2014 02:20 PM
    • Cheeno’s tag was recovered near the 31 bridge in the Caloosahatchee River.  He was located via his belt sonic in the cove on the north bank across from Sweetwater Landing.  He was socializing with 3 other animals, but he began milling around and avoiding me when I got in the water to attempt to re-tag him.  He was very evasive but stayed in the same general area. 

  14. 03/08/2014 12:51 PM
    • He was located across the river dock at Sweetwater Landing.  He was socializing with 4 other manatees who appeared to be feeding.  At one point he surfaced with another manatee immediately next to him, engrossed in socializing.  Then Cheeno crossed the channel toward the dock between the channel and seawall.  He stayed close to the bridge pilings.  The Ft. Myers Paddlewheel boat with a 3-4 ft draft passed very close to him within the channel; he appeared to have dived.  He was then seen again resurfacing near the river side dock of Sweetwater Landing and the seawall.  We got a good body condition on him in the marina several minutes later--no new scars and still looked good.  He stayed near the dock for awhile and upon our departure he was moving along the dock toward the shoreline heading west. 

  15. 03/01/2014 01:30 PM
    • He was found between the dock and seawall at Sweetwater Landing.  Very heavy boat traffic in this area.  He was observed heading back into the Caloosahatchee after the bridge was lowered and a large yacht passed.  He didn't stay in the channel too long before he made his way back to the shoreline and milled around deadfall trees.  Did not witness any feeding.  He seemed disturbed by several jet skis who were also in the area, none of which came close to him, but I did witness him diving down and swimming fast back up to the area between the river dock and seawall where we first found him.  He bottom-rested there for quite awhile. 

  16. 02/28/2014 02:25 PM
    • Cheeno reacted to a large dredge and other boats that passed within 75 feet of him by traveling away and sometimes diving, but he spent most of the visual very engrossed in socializing with one other animal.  The other animal was quite a ham, spy-hopping to check on our boat several times, and Cheeno seemed to follow him or her.  When the two moved to the bank, they began feeding on something on bottom which may have been grassilaria from the samples we attempted to gather. 

  17. 02/26/2014 12:25 PM
    • Cheeno was seen near the Riverbend Golf Club in the Caloosahatchee River on the north shore.  Very choppy day on the river.  Unable to determine if other animals due to chop.  Hanging around north shoreline traveling, milling, and staying still on bottom. 

  18. 02/21/2014 11:19 AM
    • After receiving a call from FWC on Thursday about a boater noticing that Cheeno wasn't moving around very much, I wanted to check on him right away.  He was bottom-resting by himself on Friday morning about 3/4 mile west of Manatee Park, west of the oxbow.  I approached as quietly as possible in a kayak and floated over him, and was able to confirm there were definitely no entanglements.  He was responsive to me and milled away.  Then he slowly milled east along the bank until he met up with Woodstock and the other animal she was with, and the 3 of them socialized and slowly continued east.  I'm suspecting that maybe the caller on Thursday saw Cheeno bottom-resting and was concerned that he was staying in one spot.  As usual, we really appreciate the sightings and reports. 

  19. 02/19/2014 12:20 PM
    • Cheeno spent the entire visual dodging kayaks and boats east of Manatee Park.  He is VERY boat sensitive.  I feel like he should get out of the Orange River if he is so upset by boats!!!  Animals would occasionally travel past him but he did not join in.  A resident reported he had crab trap line and possibly a trap entangled that his neighbor removed from his tag.



  20. 02/16/2014 11:30 AM
    • At the beginning of the visual Cheeno was traveling in the area of the Idle Speed sign at the entrance to Manatee Park, possibly avoiding kayakers or spooked by something.  He then settled down to socialize with Woodstock and several other animals in the area. 

  21. 02/14/2014 01:50 PM
    • Cheeno milled around calmly not far from the entrance to Manatee Park, then continued west a little further down the river along the north bank. 

  22. 02/05/2014 10:35 AM
    • Cheeno was mostly resting on bottom in a canal east of Manatee Park.  Milled around when a kayak came into the area.  The homeowner reported he had been there for a few days with several other animals.  No sign of any other animals in the canal during the entire visual. 

  23. 02/02/2014 04:03 PM
    • Cheeno was milling around the entrance to the Manatee Park canal with one other animal, staying close to the park's viewing platform and the north bank.  He began to travel further east down Orange River and away from the power plant. 

  24. 01/29/2014 02:30 PM
    • Cheeno was seen socializing and traveling around for social purposes south of Manatee Park, along the east bank in the center of the river.  He was with 14 other animals.  Seemed to be exploring river bank for food and perhaps nibbling occasionally.  The behavior was considered unknown at that point.  Does not seem to like kayaks or canoes. 

  25. 01/22/2014 11:40 AM
    • Cheeno was socializing at Manatee Park with 17 other animals, mostly very small calves.  Was socializing and traveling with them.  They were nibbling on his tether and tag.  The animals boiled for an unknown reason when he left and went to the mouth of the run and out into the Orange River.  Several canoes and kayaks surrounded him. In response, he quickly traveled down the river to get away from them. 

  26. 01/18/2014 01:15 PM
    • He was mainly resting just east of Manatee Park during the entire observation.  Several other animals were in the area, but he didn’t appear to be interacting with them.  He did move further east in the river after several curious kayaks came into the immediate area. 

  27. 01/17/2014 01:30 PM
    • Watched him interact with at least 20 other manatees at the entry to Manatee Park from the Orange River for the first 50 minutes of my observation.  4 kayaks came very close to him and the group he was with, which caused a panic.  Cheeno quickly took off into the Orange River, heading west.  He did come back to the surface about 400 feet from the original sighting point but only for 15 minutes and then he continued west. 

  28. 01/11/2014 03:34 PM
    • Cheeno was socializing near the end of the river.  He began some slow, calm cavorting in the small group, then dove quickly and traveled away when a pontoon boat passed within 30 ft of him at idle speed. 

Data map is currently not present for Cheeno.