Manatees may be a harmless and completely docile species, yet that didn’t stop one spring break swimmer in Florida from becoming absolutely terrified when she discovered that she was anything but alone in the water.
The young woman, who has not been identified, was filming herself using a selfie stick while swimming, according to Grind TV, when she suddenly realized that the manatee was drifting alongside her. The resulting minute-long-clip, which first appeared on Instagram before making its way to YouTube, documents her frightened reaction as she notices the manatee, immediately freaking out as if the animal were a hungry and dangerous shark.
“Wh… Where is it? Ooohhhhh my god!” she wails.
[Warning: Adult Language]
The young woman attempts to remain calm in the presence of the manatee, as the Times-Picayune points out, but fails utterly. Several times during the clip, the animal can be seen swimming next to her as she attempts to move toward a nearby boat, where her friends scream in terror, only adding to her anxiety. At one point in the video, she seems to muster the courage to reach out and touch the manatee, but recoils from the animal as her fear gets the better of her.
— Mary Smith (@smitharyy) April 11, 2015
Manatees pose little danger to anyone in Florida other than fast-moving boaters. As herbivores, the animals spend their time swimming near the surface, coming up for air only occasionally. The manatee in the video was likely unsettled by both the boaters’ and swimmer’s reactions, as the animals are extremely docile, spending much of their days sleeping.
— Q102 Philly (@Q102Philly) April 11, 2015
Earlier this year, a group of manatees in Florida made headlines when they became trapped in a drainage pipe. As the Inquisitr previously reported, 19 manatees swam into the pipe from the nearby Indian River Lagoon, in an attempt to seek out warmer water amid unusually low temperatures. Satellite Beach Fire Chief Don Hughes, who was involved in the rescue, noted that manatees will sometimes go to extreme lengths to seek out warmer conditions.
“It’s been cold lately and these canals are all filled with manatees. I wouldn’t even begin to venture a guess as to how they got into the drainage pipes. They will go wherever there’s warm water.”
By the end of the clip, the terrified young girl managed to make it to the boat, where her fellow swimmers tossed her a line, rescuing her from the completely non-dangerous manatee.
[Image via Grind TV]