Calling all holiday shoppers — Adopt-A-Manatee!

Staff Report

Finding the perfect, unexpected holiday gift for someone who has everything is just a click or phone call away. A manatee adoption from Save the Manatee Club is a favorite holiday gift choice for shoppers who are searching for something more purposeful and impactful. Around the country and the globe, people enjoy the pure pleasure of giving a real, living Florida manatee with a known history by adopting one or more online at savethemanatee.org or by calling the club toll-free within the U.S. at 1-800-432-5646.

An annual manatee adoption costs $25 and includes an adoption certificate, photo of a real endangered manatee, biography, membership handbook, and newsletters throughout the year with updated reports on the manatees in the adoption program. View the adoptees — Squeaky, Annie, Rocket, Whiskers, and many more of these marvelous marine mammals on the club’s website at savethemanatee.org/adoptees. A personalized holiday message is offered with each gift adoption. And each new member who joins the Adopt-A-Manatee program online for a $35 tax-deductible donation will also receive a 24-inch-by-12-inch full-color 2015 wall calendar. Shipping is free within the United States.

Amy Senn from the Twin Cities has a love for animals, including manatees. After following the adoptees on the club’s website and learning about each of them with her young daughter Mia, Amy decided to adopt Philip from the club’s Blue Spring State Park adoption program as a holiday present last year for Mia. “This is an awesome gift to give because it’s meaningful, and it’s also a teaching moment for a child to help a species in need,” said Amy. “Mia was thrilled to receive the adoption! We care about the manatees because they’re so sweet and harmless. It’s heartbreaking to hear about the high number of manatee deaths each year.”

Down in the Sunshine State, native Floridian, Jim Carroll from St. Augustine, is a big fan of Save the Manatee Club. He first adopted a manatee for himself back in 1992, and then adopted six more manatees as Christmas presents for his nephews and nieces in 1993. Last year, Jim decided to adopt manatees for the children of his friend since his nephews and nieces had so greatly appreciated their adoption gifts many years ago.

Manatees are wonderful, gentle creatures, and we need to help them,” said Jim. “The human population of Florida continues to grow, which means more boats and a less safe habitat for manatees. I would like to see more protected areas for them.”

Patrick Rose, aquatic biologist and executive director of the club, said: “Save the Manatee Club continues to be the voice of the manatee, championing for their survival and well-being. We appreciate the tremendous support of our conservation efforts to ensure manatees and their essential habitats are protected whenever and wherever they are in need.”

Holiday manatee gift adoptions are available by contacting Save the Manatee Club at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or by calling 1-800-432-JOIN (5464), or by visiting the website at savethemanatee.org. Also, visit The Manatee Store, the club’s online shopping center, for more holiday gift ideas at shopsavethemanatee.org.

From the Dec. 10-16, 2014, issue

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