Havre de Grace police are used to fielding calls when strange things are found floating down the river or in the bay.
On Saturday, those calls poured in to the police department in droves as residents of the waterside city reported seeing a strange creature paddling in the waters where the mouth of the Susquehanna River meets the top of the Chesapeake Bay.
This wasn’t a dusky shark, like the one once caught by a fisherman off the Promenade, or an Atlantic sturgeon, like the 8-foot long specimen that once washed up on the shore at Rock Run, or even Chessie, the mythic, serpentine Chesapeake Bay sea monster.
It was a manatee, also known as a sea cow, evidently on tour from Florida and drawn by curiousity and warming water into the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay.
A Havre de Grace police officer was able to take photos and video of the manatee as it surfaced and meandered around a local marina. Marine mammal rescue experts from the National Aquarium at Baltimore were quickly called upon to survey the situation and recommend remediation.
Every few years a manatee makes its way up the coast from Florida, occassionally popping up in a local waterway before moving on to waters as far north as New York City and Cape Cod.
Boaters should generally take caution and keep an eye out for large floating mammals in local waters – be they manatee or man.
Here are a few photos taken and provided by the Havre de Grace Police Department.
And here’s some more information about the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Marine Animal Rescue Program:
The Aquarium is a regional and international leader in the quest to improve the health of the world’s oceans. We participate in a variety of cooperative programs, and have initiated many programs of our own to help preserve the health of our oceans.
The Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) is the cornerstone of the Aquarium’s ocean health initiative. MARP rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine animals.
MARP has successfully rescued, treated, and returned seals, dolphins, porpoises, pilot whales, pygmy sperm whales, sea turtles, and a manatee to their natural habitats—led by only a handful of paid staff and a network of well-trained volunteers.