Animal advocates and environmentally-conscious holiday shoppers can make the season brighter for family, friends, and co-workers by adopting real, living manatees for them from Save the Manatee Club. The Adopt-A-Manatee® program was an idea of the Club’s co-founder, Jimmy Buffett that was started in 1984 to raise more awareness of Florida’s imperiled marine mammals.
The program has gathered significant popularity over the years with the funds helping to fuel educational outreach and other conservation efforts. Even the manatees themselves in the adoption program have become celebrities. Manatees like Rocket, Howie, Ariel, and Gator are all popular adoptees, and a new female manatee, Moo Shoo, was recently added to the Adopt-A-Manatee® program at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida. See photos and watch video footage of some of the manatees up for adoption at the “Meet A Manatee” page on the Club’s website at savethemanatee.org/meetme. View all the adoptive manatees at savethemanatee.org/adopt.
Here’s how it works. For $25, Save the Manatee Club sends a personalized adoption packet, which includes an adoption certificate, photo and life history of a real Florida manatee, and an information-packed membership handbook. Four print newsletters and six eNewsletters are also sent to gift recipients throughout the year. Save the Manatee Club’s 2019 full-color manatee wall calendar is included in each adoption package as a special free item. Adopt at the $35 level and receive the packet, the calendar, and a manatee window cling. Free shipping is available for U.S. adoption orders.
In the central part of Arkansas, known as “The Natural State” for its abundant park and wilderness areas, live Mike Montgomery and his family. Mike, who claims they are “huge Parrotheads,” adopted a manatee for his young daughter, Kelly, last year as a Christmas gift. “Kelly has loved manatees her entire life,” says Mike. “Her enthusiasm for the manatees has spread to our whole family and continues to this day. I thought a manatee adoption would be an ideal present for Kelly. It was a wonderful surprise and made her Christmas morning. We choose “Lily” for her as I was touched by Lily’s story, including her large family. We also have a parakeet named Lily, so she seemed like the perfect fit.”
Save the Manatee Club is an award-winning 501(c)(3) international nonprofit conservation organization established in1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. The Club’s mission is to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat for future generations. Over the last 45 years, since researchers have been tracking the number and causes of manatee deaths, thousands of manatees have died from human activity. Historically, the largest known cause of injury and death has been from collisions with watercraft. Many manatees have also died from cold stress due to Florida’s prolonged cold snaps and from red tide outbreaks. Increased public awareness, habitat protection, and enforcement of boating regulations can ensure manatees survive for the enjoyment of generations to come.
“I am constantly amazed by the amount of resources that go into manatee conservation work by Save the Manatee Club,” says Mike. “The educational resources along with all the people hours that go into the support of the manatees is absolutely incredible.”
Tax-deductible manatee gift adoptions and a variety of manatee-related merchandise from the Club’s online store can be found by visiting the website at savethemanatee.org. You can also Adopt-A-Manatee® by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).