It would be an easy mistake to make after months holed up on a ship, which is why Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids.
Twas on this day in 1493 that Chris saw the three ‘mermaids’… really manatees and described them as ‘not half as beautiful as they are painted.’
Now for those who make their care and rehabilitation their life’s work the Italian explorer was talking out of his Columbass.
Man and manatee
One such is Jon (JP) Peterson who is the Dr Doolittle of SeaWorld Orlando.
Of course JP does much as our group discovered on our trip out to Orlando.
And was there ever in truth such love between a man and his manatee?
JP talked us through his affection for the sea cows and his passion for nursing them back to health and a return to the sea.
As always it’s man and his ways which is the biggest threat to the manatee.
A little more conservation
And SeaWorld can claim success in the field having rescued 35,000 animals.
While they were also preaching plastic long before many others and banned single use plastic nearly ten years ago.
Now it takes you rather less time to reach the New World these days.
And, of course, all major airlines serve Orlando.
The main attraction
Watch Attraction Tickets’ Nikki with Mr Manatee himself here.
And check out Attraction Tickets’ latest multi-park offers in the Sunshine State.
And coming in at £139 for adult and £139 for child.
Why Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids may indeed be because of tiredness, or rum.
But half an hour with JP in SeaWorld and you’ll believe manatees are the most beautiful creatures in the world.