A dozen mating manatees stopped traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa, Florida. Apparently some drivers reported a whale in distress but it turned out to be the manatees in a "mating ball" or "mating herd." And it happened before, a few years ago, in the same spot! Must be something in the water...
From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:
Manatees mate in herds consisting of a focal female and multiple males, from a few to over a dozen, attempting to mate with her. Mating herds are most often observed during the warmer months, but can occur year-round. They can last anywhere from a few hours up to a week long. The manatees are often observed splashing or climbing on top of each other in the water.
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#MANATEES! Raw aerials from Action Air 1 of a group of manatees off the #Tampa side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway this morning. We suspect that they may be mating. Any manatee experts out there? @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/Y3UZlWd55a— Ryan French (@RyanFrenchWFTS) May 10, 2019