Featured Image Credit: Citrus County, Florida: The Water Lover’s Florida/Florida
Karl Nelson was working on his boat near Sarasota, Florida when he took a break and spotted an incredibly rare site – twin manatee calves and their mother.
“I was looking around and it was so beautiful out. I decided I would take a video,” he told Fox 13 News. “The manatee popped up in front of me. I hit the button and filmed it. That was it. I had it and I was so amazed. I had goosebumps that I actually got it on video.”
His video went viral soon after he posted it to Facebook.
So how rare are twin births for manatees?
“It is about 1.4 to 4 percent of the cases where we see twins,” said Mote Marine Laboratory spokesperson Hayley Rutger.
Nelson’s video also is an opportunity for researchers to view twin manatees and observe their behavior.
“We don’t know too much about manatees with twins. We know its possible for a mom to support twins, but we don’t know a whole lot about them in the wild,” continued Rutger.
While Mote Marine said it is too soon to name the calves, Karl has already picked his favorites.
“I’d like to name them Faith and Hope. Hope in mankind to make the world a better place for manatees and faith in mankind that man will make the place a better place for manatees,” he said.