Our resident Florida Manatees – Pippen, Miles and Matthew are currently fed three times each day, early-morning, midday and mid-afternoon. And each day they eat a lot, about 65 lbs. of lettuce, spinach, carrots and apples. This amount represents about 7.3% of their combined body weights, 885 lbs. By comparison, a 200-lb man eats about 5 lbs. of food or 2.5% of his body weight each day. To compete with our boys a 200-lb. man would have to gulp down a gut-busting 14.6 lbs. of food!
Wild Florida Manatees eat more than 60 species of aquatic plants, in both fresh and salt water. Though they are herbivores, manatees are known to eat the occasional fish or aquatic invertebrate.
November is Manatee Awareness month. Visit Pippen, Miles and Matthew at Manatee Springs or click here to learn more about the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s work with Florida Manatees.