Manatee Abuse in Crystal River

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/zVr2G5enWiQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This video absolutely breaks my heart and is a scathing example of ecotourism gone horribly wrong.  We are literally loving our manatees to the point of harm.  I often hear from (probably) well meaning people that they have been to swim with the manatees in Crystal River and other known congregation sites for wintering sea cows in Florida.  And I’ve always wondered who was out there watching and ensuring that these people do indeed have a safe and respectful experience with these animals. 

Apparently, there needs to be more watching.  If you’re a Floridian and you intend to swim with manatees in the near future please be sure to choose a responsible tour operator and be responsible for yourselves as well.  Its times like this that I wish manatees had sabre tooths sticking out of their beautiful faces to scare overly excited people away.

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3 Comments to “Manatee Abuse in Crystal River”

  1. Oh my god, this is disgusting.
    How can these people get away with this ? Surely your Florida authorities can close these operators down and hit them with serious fines. The Manatee is one of the most endangered creatures in the US.
    But let’s not mix our terms. What is being observed here is certainly not ‘ecotourism’.It’s nature tourism at its worst. It’s all about exploiting nature, flora and fauna for the benefit of small minded, greedy, selfish, clueless humans. It’s the opposite of ecotourism.

  2. The videos should be used as a guide on what not to do. In some ways I wonder if advent of readily available underwater cameras and You Tube culture has made this behavior more prevalent?

  3. That was about the SADDEST thing I have ever seen. Don’t these people have hearts? Do they even REALIZE how much damage they are doing? I am completely & utterly disgusted.