Meet Hugh and Buffet. These half-brothers love to play and eat lettuce (up to five dozen heads a day!). They also assist the research team at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in exploring how manatees perceive their natural environment. Along the way, the manatees also swim against their very own Endless Pools® swim current.
While manatee populations are on the upswing, much work remains to keep them alive and thriving. And Hugh and Buffet are a big part of that effort.
"We're studying everything from their eyesight, to their hearing, to the tiny hairs, called vibrissae, that cover their bodies," the team at Mote states. "Understanding how manatees navigate their world is allowing resource managers to better understand them and protect this endangered species in the wild."
To stay active and healthy in a contained environment, Hugh and Buffet rely on their Endless Pools Fastlane®. The Fastlane delivers the smooth, adjustable Endless Pools swim current to their custom-designed home pool, allowing them to swim in place.
The Endless Pools current earns praise from triathletes and open water swimmers for its recreation of real currents; as you can see in the video above, the manatees also seem to have adapted quite well to the simulation.
Also in the video, Harry the sea turtle. Harry arrived at Mote's Sea Turtle Rehab Hospital in 2007 after a boat hit him. While the team at Mote fights to get sea turtles in shape to return to their natural habitat, Harry's vision loss from the accident made that impossible. Today, he lives and thrives alongside his manatee friends.
Happy #manateeappreciationday from Mote's beloved resident manatees, Hugh and Buffett! These half brothers are the the world’s most highly trained manatees. They participate in special manatee research projects focusing on everything from their eyesight, to their hearing to the tiny hairs, called vibrissae, that cover their bodies. To find out how you can donate items on Hugh and Buffett's wish list, contact Mote's Development Department at 941-388-4441 ext 393. Visit the manatees daily at Mote Aquarium from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.! #motemarinelab (Photo: @flfisherman12)
Happy Manatee Appreciation Day! Look at who I got to celebrate it with...@motemarinelab very own Hugh and Buffett! Such tremendous fun. #photooftheday #underwaterphotography #photography #manatee #motemarinelab #canon #ikelite #natgeo #natgeotravel #aquarium #exhibit #lettuce #food #mammal #explore #water #photographer #sarasota #florida