Wild manatee sex rituals spark issues for Florida police: ‘If you see this, no you didn’t’

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It’s mating season for manatees, and a Florida sheriff’s office is urging the public to stop calling 911 over the randy marine mammals.

“If you see this, no you didn’t,” the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office captioned a Facebook reel last month that showed a herd of manatees near the shoreline as Marvin Gaye’s famed song “Let’s Get It On” plays in the background.

“We can assure you they are more than fine,” the sheriff’s office added. “Manatees actually mate in herds like these and often they are near the shore. They mate all throughout the year but generally mating herds like these are seen in the summer months.”

Manatees typically mate between March and September, with females then carrying the calf for an 11-12-month gestation period. 

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Manatees swimming in Florida river

Manatees rest in a protected area close to a warm-water spring in Crystal River, Florida. (Mauricio Handler/National Geographic/Getty Images)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission outlines on its website that multiple male manatees will compete to breed with a female.

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Florida manatee seen underwater

A manatee rests while a snorkeler scratches its underbelly in Crystal River, Florida. (Mauricio Handler/National Geographic/Getty Images)

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“Manatee mating herds are interesting to watch as several bulls (males) pursue a cow (female) until she is ready to mate,” the commission says on its website. “For your safety, watch these mating herds from a distance as the animals are focused on mating and do not heed intruders in their midst.”

Manatee with diver

A manatee approaches a snorkeler with a camera in Crystal River, Florida. (Mauricio Handler/National Geographic/Getty Images)

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office continued that anyone who spots the manatee sex rituals needs to leave the animals alone.

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“So if you see this, there’s no need to call, they are a-okay! And remember touching or disturbing manatees is not only illegal but can also be very dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said.

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