Swimming with Giants!

– My name is Coyote
Peterson, and as I stare into the shadowy waters, I am
witness to an ominous shadow. Cast by an ancient creature,
it slowly circles the boat as I prepare to enter the water. Sounds dangerous, but
the good news for me is that this is one of
the friendliest animals on the planet. Get ready to swim
with the manatee! (intense music) – [Coyote] As the sun burns
through the morning haze, our boat slowly motors
up the calm waters of the Crystal River. Welcome to King’s Bay, a
series of maze like canals and scattered islands,
that serve as a protective wildlife refuge
for many species; but none more famous
than the Florida manatee. Look at this, we are
literally surrounded by manatees right now. These gentle giants return
to this area each winter to enjoy the consistently
warm temperatures of the natural springs,
which are essential to the manatee’s survival, as they
are susceptible to cold and cannot survive for
extended periods of time in water temperatures
that fall below 68 degrees Farenheit. Got my goggles ready
to go, snorkel. Gonna get in the water. This is a little intimidating,
I’m not gonna lie. And all of this
disturbance in the water, yeah, that’s about 50
manatees, and I’m gonna go swim with them. Throughout King’s Bay,
there are various places to spot these majestic
marine animals. You can frequently see
them coming to the surface of the cloudy waters
in the main canals. They’re distinguished footprints
flattening the water’s surface, just before
they breech and disappear back into the abyss. For a clearer look, you can
visit Three Sister’s Preserve. Established as a refuge for
the manatees, it’s considered the crown jewel of King’s Bay. And its crystal clear water
is the perfect habitat for all types of
marine creatures. Just make sure to stay a
respectful distance from the manatees, as this is
where they come to sleep. However, if you are looking
for a more personal experience, there are designated
areas, like King’s Spring, where you can get in
the water and swim right along side them. My goal was to have the
closest encounter possible, and with manatees being
most active in the morning, King’s Spring at sunrise
was exactly where we needed to be. Alright, we’ve got manatees
surrounding the boat right now. I’m trying to be as quiet
as possible, we don’t wanna disturb them. Now this is the moment
of truth, I am… diving in… with the manatees, this
is gonna be awesome! There are no words that
can describe the feeling of what it is like to enter
into the realm of the manatee. These giants can grow
to 10 feet in length, tipping the scales at
well over 1,000 pounds. Based on size alone,
they are definitely an intimidating animal. And while at first glance
they resemble something between a dolphin and a
walrus, these marine mammals are actually more closely
related to elephants. From their prehensile
lips and rough skin, to their nail bearing
flippers, and innocent eyes. At a closer look, you can
easily see the relation to the planet’s
largest land animal. Okay, so we’re headed back
to the springs right now to get up close
with the manatees. My mind raced with nervous
excitement as we swam toward the spring. Here we were, bipedal
strangers, in a foreign watery land. Will the manatees welcome us
with open hearts and minds? Or would they turn the other
way to these masked invaders? See, when it comes to having
an encounter with a manatee, it’s all about the
manatee choosing you. And the moment it happens,
your life will change forever. Beneath the water’s surface,
I suddenly saw myself surrounded by manatees. They gently maneuvered
around me, an innocent curiosity drawing
us both closer. Until that perfect
moment finally happened. The moment where
manatee makes contact… with man. As I floated between
them, time seemed to slow, and a calm came over me. In that very instance,
I suddenly felt at one with the giants. We are absolutely surrounded
by manatees right now, this is awesome. This is where the fun began. And before I knew it,
playtime was in full effect. From barrel rolls,
to belly rubs. We were having a blast. He’s coming up to the
surface, look at that! See his little opened nostrils? Holy cow, that’s amazing! When actively swimming,
manatees can stay submerged for roughly four minutes,
before returning to the surface for air. They’re incredibly social
animals, and rely heavily on touch and sound
for communication; especially between
a cow and her calf. A cow and a calf
move right down here, why don’t you back up a
little bit, we’ll go down, so we can get a great shot. Being around youngsters,
we were witness to several unique behaviors; including nuzzling,
nursing, and cleaning. I even made friends with a
little guy we named Douglas, who is absolutely
smitten with our cameras. Right now we have the most
playful little baby manatee swimming around with us. There’s no doubt about
it, Doug was definitely the highlight of our trip. Once you are swimming
with manatees, it’s almost impossible to leave. And while the 72 degree
temperatures are nice at first, after several hours
in the water, you really begin to get cold. So it was time to
return to the boat. Woo! Holy sea cow, that was awesome! It really is just like they say. Swimming with manatees is
truly an amazing experience. I’m Coyote Peterson,
be brave, stay wild, we’ll see you on
the next adventure! Man that was awesome! Once nearly hunted to
extinction, the manatee has made an astounding comeback. Strong conservation efforts
continue to protect these magnificent creatures, ensuring hope for
a bright future. The soul of the
manatee is as gentle and as kind-hearted as it gets. Their ability to recognize
and accept a stranger into their world, is
what sets them apart from the rest of
the animal kingdom. And if you ever have
the chance to swim with a manatee, I promise
it will change your life. I will certainly never forget
the time that I was welcomed beneath the water’s surface,
to swim in the presence of giants. If you thought that
was one wild adventure, check out the time I got
up close with another marine mammal, the
northern elephant seal. And don’t forget to subscribe
to join me and the crew on this season of
“Breaking Trail.” (animal sounds)

100 thoughts on “Swimming with Giants!”

  1. typical American show.. no one gives a crap about you… just show us the animals and talk about it.. you shouldn't even be on camera.

  2. I used to camp on the crystal every summer! Its still my only true "happy place" citrus county is the most peaceful beautiful place and its such a nice change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of Pinellas and Hillsboro counties where I'm from. The rainbow river is one of Floridas last true natural wonders! The crystal clear (but super cold) waters of the rainbow are natures natural stress relievers!

  3. Once on a Christmas trip in Florida my grandparents took me to see manatees. They were so damn cute and sweet.

  4. Cute on the outside a squishy ball of happiness on the inside

    Why do we hunt them they are one of the jewels many of the ocean that people love

  5. I went here today with my cousin! Amazing experience! Got to see and touch three manatees! They're very gentle. Their skin is very rough to the touch!

  6. I’ve also swam with manatees before and got to feed them all they do is eat and grab on to your leg for more food ITS THE CUTEST THING EVER😭😭😍

  7. Omg I love manatees soooooo much!!!! They are my most fav animal in the whole world!!! Where I live in FL there is a park that has them and you can swim with them. Its truly amazing!!!!πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

  8. This place is only 30min from my house!!! I'm so going, I wish I knew you were going to be here I would've love to have met you!! No one ever comes to this part of FL lmbo!!!!

  9. Theres one that hangs out in the Outer Banks in the summer. He was there 4th of july weekend when I was there.

  10. Peter: Swim with a manatee i swear it changes your life.
    Me: Peter is lying i swam with a manatee and my life did not change.
    Subscribers: Everyone unsubscribe he is a bunch of lie.
    Peter: See i swam with a manatee it changed my life i am poor look!!!
    Me: Why my life did not change?
    Peter: It will change now because i will go there and make you poor too!!!Sounds great right!
    unsubscribers: Everyone alert Peter is not a lie sub to Peter!
    Me: Yay my life changed!!!
    Mom and Dad: Hmm lets see the credit card.Oh we poor we have no more money that means we are gonna throw our child to the trash can and run!!
    Me: I changed my life even more!!!i
    Me: Regrets watching brave wilderness.

  11. Back when this channel was actually good.

    Man barnacles make my skin crawl. anyone else feel like taking a knife and prying them off?

  12. I never actually noticed how many barnacles were growing on the backs of the manatees. Is that a bad thing for them, or is it just a thing that normally happens?

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