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Manatees swim near shore at Florida beach

Manatees swim near shore at Florida beach
Posted at 5:55 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 14:46:33-04

(RNN) - Several manatees swam near the beachgoers at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, FL.

The people flocked to the edge of the waters to get a look at the manatees as they calmly moved along.

"You don't see this every day on the beach," Chris Otto told WWSB. Otto captured the manatees on his cell phone.

Manatees are usually spotted alone, in pairs or in very small groups. They typically swim through the waters at about five miles per hour, but can swim up to 15 mph in shorts bursts.

Manatees are often called sea cows, according to National Geographic. They are aquatic mammals that range from 8 to 13 feet in length and 440 to 1,300 pounds in weight. Their average life span is 40 years.

In March, manatees were no longer listed as endangered and downgraded to threatened. The animal is still protected under federal and state regulations.

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