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Rare manatee sighting on the island

Two vacationers spotted the marine mammal swimming in a canal by their rental home.
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 19:49:43-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A rare sighting this week out by the water: a manatee was spotted on the island.

A family visiting Corpus Christi from Austin spotted the marine mammal.

Zooey Belche and her friend Saphi Michaelis Hammer tell KRIS 6 news they had just finished eating breakfast Thursday morning and walked out to the canal behind their AirBnB.

They were just sitting by the water and thought a giant rock was floating toward them and were shocked when they saw it move.

"And I was like, 'is that a manatee?" Michaelis Hammer said through a giggle. "The whole thing came up and it was like 6-feet-long and its snout was so cute!"

Belche said the mammal followed them along the dock while they were taking photos.

"We were just so excited," Belche said. "We were just filled with joy. We got our parents down and other people started looking at it. It was just so much fun."

Manatees have been spotted in the Coastal Bend in the past. There's even been sightings in the marina.

They have been on the endangered species list since 1973. Most manatee sightings have been reported along the Florida Coast.