Which Manatee Should You Give Your Valentine?

Give the unexpected this Valentine’s Day. Choose a manatee from Save the Manatee Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee® program, where unlike most other animal adoption programs, these are 35 real manatee adoptees with known histories living in the wild or at a rehabilitation facility in Florida.

Dave Holzknecht from Satsuma, Florida, decided to adopt “Annie” from the Club’s Blue Spring State Park manatee adoption program for his wife, Cathleen, as a unique and non-traditional way to honor her on Valentine’s Day last year. “We, as well as my two daughters, Shelby and Chelsea, strongly support manatee conservation, and I thought Cathleen would enjoy the gift adoption,” said Dave. “We had recently moved to Florida from Kentucky, and during the winter months we’d take a short boat ride from our home on the St. Johns River to Welaka Springs to count the manatees we encountered.”

Half the fun is choosing just the right manatee for that special Valentine. See photos and a list of the manatees available for adoption on the Club’s website at savethemanatee.org/adoptees.

Tax-deductible gift adoptions from Save the Manatee Club cost $25. When someone adopts, they also become a member of the Club. Each member receives an adoption certificate, the manatee’s biography, a membership handbook, a subscription to the Club’s official quarterly print newsletter, which includes an adoption update where members can read about their manatee, and a bi-monthly e- newsletter. A personalized Valentine’s Day gift card comes with each adoption, and postage is free within the United States. Add an additional $10 to adoptions mailed to all countries outside the United States. A new manatee ornament, perfect for Valentine’s Day, is included with every gift adoption of $35 or more, while they last.

Save the Manatee Club is an international nonprofit conservation and manatee welfare organization co-founded in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett. The Club works to safeguard endangered manatees by assisting with rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts in America and abroad; helps to expand and protect the manatee’s winter warm-water habitat; obtains improved boat speed zones in areas frequented by manatees; producers and distributes education materials, and raises public awareness.

“My wife was surprised and very pleased with the manatee gift adoption,” said Dave. “We are long-time boaters and scuba divers and love being on the water. The manatee adoption was a natural extension of her attitude toward caring for our natural resources. These gentle, graceful giants are wonderful animals, and clearly worth saving.”

For more information on adopting a manatee for Valentine’s Day, visit Save the Manatee Club’s website at savethemanatee.org, or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). Also, visit The Manatee Store, the Club’s online shopping center, for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas at shopsavethemanatee.org. Watch manatees in their natural habitat on the Club’s Blue Spring webcams at manatv.org.

You can follow the Club using Twitter twitter.com/savethemanatee, Facebook www.facebook.com/savethemanateeclub, and Pinterest pinterest.com/SaveTheManateeC/. Watch manatee videos on YouTube at youtube.com/adoptamanatee.

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