Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Chessie the Manatee
Way back on October 3, 2005, during the last autumn I lived in DC, I wrote a brief blog post about Chessie, a manatee who swam up the James River all they way to Richmond, Virginia--although now I can't find any verification that this was an official Chessie sighting.
Chessie, originally from Florida, was radio tagged and tracked by the US Geological Survey's Sirenia Project--although he apparently got rid of his tracking device in 2001. In 1995, Chessie swam all the way to Rhode Island. According to the Chessie Watch page (which hasn't been updated since 2004), there hasn't been an official Chessie sighting since August, 2001, although a younger manatee has been sighted in and around Virginia Beach. You can read more about Chessie's in his bio.
Anyway, I bring to your attention a comment left this afternoon by Mr. Case of Virginia Beach, VA on that very old blog post of mine. He says:
"I saw a manatee today at noon at Rocketts Landing; it was swimming slowly downriver."
Well, Chessie, if that was you, we wish you well. In fact, whoever you were, we wish you well, and recommend that you start heading south before the water gets too cold. Go, manatee, go!