Little Joe & Slip in Manatee Springs

Latest News:

Although Lil Joe lost his tag, he is still monitored and was seen on Sunday, 9/25/11, milling, socializing, and feeding on unknown vegetation in the cove west of Lake Dexter.  He was with 4 other animals.  His back had no new scars as of that visual.  His tag was recovered on Saturday, 10/15/11, on the western edge of Lake Dexter close to the channel, tangled in a large mass of hydrilla and further hidden beneath a mat of water hyacinth.  Lil Joe was observed milling and traveling with 2 other animals that day on the south side of the cove west of Lake Dexter.  He was seen again on Tuesday, 10/25/11, milling, socializing, and feeding on hydrilla with 6 other animals on the west side of Lake Dexter.

 Slip was seen traveling and feeding just north of Governors Creek in the Green Cove Springs area with 2 other animals on Friday, 9/07/11.  On Monday, 9/10/11, he fed in that area with 3 other animals.  He fed and cavorted with 7 other animals there on Wednesday, 9/13/11.  He socialized there on Thursday, 10/20/11, where Monica was able to exchange his tag.

June 2011

St. Johns River: On Sunday, 6/05/11, Webster milled and socialized with 6 other animals, including Lil Joe and Slip, along the south shore of Lake Dexter. He socialized with 7 other animals in Blue Creek just south of Lake George on Wednesday, 6/15/11. This is a Slow Speed area with pennywort, tape grass, gator weed, duckweed, water paspalum, and spatterdock available. On Monday, 6/20/11, he milled along the bank of the southwest corner of Lake George outside the entrance to Jupiter Spring by himself.

Lil Joe was seen socializing and briefly traveling in a group of 6 other animals, including Webster and Slip, along the south shore of Lake Dexter on Sunday, 6/05/11. Gas was seen from him during the visual. Jackie was observed on Tuesday, 6/07/11, between markers 85 and 87 in the river, milling and feeding on pennywort with one other animal. Gas was seen from her during the visual and lots of vegetation was available.

On Monday, 6/13/11, she was seen in the channel just northwest of Lake Monroe, bottom-resting and milling by herself. On Friday, 6/17/11, she milled with one other animal close to the bank in the channel around marker 114, and on Wednesday, 6/22/11, she socialized, milled, and stayed close to the bank to avoid passing boats at marker 104.

On Sunday, 6/05/11, Slip socialized with 6 other animals, including Lil Joe and Webster, along the south shore of Lake Dexter. Kringle has stayed on the east coast of the St. Johns River south of Green Cove Springs in Florence Cove this week. Amber gave birth to a calf at Blue Spring on Monday, 6/13/11. FWC and Sea To Shore went out to monitor them as the calf appeared to be nursing for only a few seconds periodically during the day. By Wednesday, 6/15/11, however, the calf was seen nursing for 2-minute periods. They have been going in and out of Blue Spring since then, staying on the north bank of the spring west of the swim area.

Februrary 2011:

Slip was seen on Wednesday, 2/02/11, at the mouth of Blue Spring near the entrance to the river, bottom-resting with 8 other animals. Melody got an underwater body condition assessment on him and thought he looked thin, with a flat to slightly concave belly. It was difficult to determine whether or not he had stomach folds as he was resting in a C-shape which was also concerning. Jim Reid and Susan Butler from USGS were in the water with him the following day and agreed he looked thin but not emaciated.
Up to this point Slip had been leaving Blue Spring at least once a week but typically not going very far–to the oxbow north of the spring or to the lagoon where some vegetation is available. On Tuesday, 2/01/11, he traveled north almost up to Lake Beresford, and for the past 2 days he has gone up to the northern part of Lake Beresford. Slip was observed feeding in the eel grass beds in northern Lake Beresford on Tuesday, 2/08/11.

Slip, a 1,400 pound manatee that lived at the Cincinnati Zoo from August 2005 to October 2009, was released into the clear, warm waters of Blue Spring State Park in Florida on February 15, 2010.

For the most recent Slip updates, visit the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership website.


1/23/11 – Slip was observed on Saturday morning, 1/22/11, bottom-resting by himself at the boil of Blue Spring. He was seen again on Sunday, 1/23/11, at the entrance to the spring near the river, bottom-resting and socializing with 8-10 other animals.

12/03/10 – Slip has made it in to Blue Spring as of Friday, 12/03/10. He first spent the morning pacing around the boil, then milled out toward the mouth of the river where he socialized with some of the 133 animals counted there yesterday.

7/14/10-7/27/10: Slip was observed on Thursday, 7/15/10, in southeast Lake Dexter with three other animals. The group socialized, milled, and fed for 20 minutes. On Tuesday, 7/20/10, he was again seen in the southeast corner of Lake Dexter with five other animals. They milled to the north shore of the lake and then the western end, cavorting for brief periods and socializing.

6/30/10-7/13/10: Slip was observed on Saturday, 7/10/10, in Stagger Mud Lake west of Lake Dexter. He was with two other animals, milling and socializing, and could have been feeding for 15 minutes on submerged vegetation but could not confirm.

6/19/10-6/29/10: Slip was observed in Stagger Mud Lake on Monday, 6/21/10, with one other animal, bottom-resting and then milling.

6/10/10 – 6/18/10: Slip traveled along the northern edge of Lake Dexter this week to Tick Island Creek before returning to Stagger Mud Lake.

6/02/10 – 6/09/10: Slip was observed about a quarter mile east of Lake Dexter in Tick Island Creek on Tuesday, 6/01/10. He was by himself and alternately milling and traveling east down the creek toward Lake Woodruff.

5/25/10 – 6/01/10: Since last week Slip has returned north to Stagger Mud Lake near Lake Dexter and has spent most of this week there.


Cincinnati Zoo’s Manatee Returned to the Wild

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s 1,400 pound Florida manatee, Slip, was released into the clear, warm waters of Blue Spring State Park in Florida, Monday, February 15.

Slip called the Cincinnati Zoo home from August 2005 to October 2009, before he was moved to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. After four months of pre-release conditioning and evaluation, he returned to the wild with over 140 other manatees lingering in the Florida waters.

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