Double the cuteness!
Manatee twins have been spotted in the waters of Homosassa Springs.
The sighting is extremely rare- on average, one calf is born to one manatee every two to five years. And only one in 50 births results in twins.
"Been doing this almost 15 years and never seen an infant, twins ever and I'm out there every day," said Gene Parker, manatee tour guide.
Parker owns a tour business called Snorkel with Manatees. He hit the jackpot on July 11th when he captured the rare encounter on video during a tour.
"We immediately stopped the boat to observe and she brought them by the boat,” Parker said. “It was almost like she was showing off her newborns."
Ivan Vicente is with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He said very few people are lucky enough to see something like this in person.
"The part that makes it rare is the fact that these twins are infants,” he said.
Vicente said when the video was taken the twins were between 7 and 14 days old. Usually, when babies are that young the mother is hiding out of sight protecting them, so seeing infant twins is very unusual.
"Once they nurse for a month or so then they expose them to the real world of coastal Florida,” said Vicente.
Parker said he actually saw this family three days in a row and he's asking other boaters around Homosassa to be very careful.
"Just be aware of what's going on in these areas but I think if they are not hit by a boat, they will do well,” he said.
Florida manatees are federally protected and remain on the endangered species list. According to FWS, there are less than 6,000 in and around the state of Florida.
For more information on swimming with the manatees in Citrus County, visit www.visitcitrus.com.