Hey ho! Anchors away! Who is ready to sail with us up the Ortoire River in search of the famous manatee?
The manatee, or sea cow as it is also known, is one of our critically endangered animals. There may be fewer than 30 left in the wild. They are protected by law, and conservation groups are working hard to protect these beautiful creatures.
With their very thick skins, manatee have more in common with elephants than other marine animals. They are powerful creatures, capable of using their strong tails to swim up to 20 miles an hour, but they prefer to glide slowly along. They swim along lazy, shallow rivers in search of sea grass to eat. They can stay below water for up to 20 minutes, but usually surface every five minutes for air.
Their necks are wide and thick which means they can not turn them from side to side. To see something behind them the manatee has to turn right the way around!
Another interesting fact is that it is thought that these unusual creatures were mistaken for mermaids by sailors on their first travels to this land!
Join Ryan and Auntie Sharon to make a Manatee hand puppet!
See below to find out how…
What you will need:
- Paint Brush
- Pencil/ Black Marker
- Strong Glue or Glue Gun
- Small Brown Paper Bag
- Print out the manatee template
- Either trace or stick your template on to your cardboard and cut out the shapes you will need
- Assemble the manatee using the photo as your guide (see photo)
- Paint your manatee
- Put on your puppet show!