Manatee sighting in Big Lake - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wildlife official: Big Lake manatee likely headed back to warmer waters

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Big Lake is home to serene boat launches, beautiful lakefront homes, natural wildlife and manatees?   

No, not the latter ... Manatees are the dolphin-like marine animal sometimes referred to as "sea cows." They're native to the Florida region, but early this month, one was spotted right here in Southwest Louisiana. 

This video was shot by Casey Moses, of Big Lake, while he was out washing boats with his guide service. So far away from home, what's a manatee doing in Southwest Louisiana?

Beau Gregory, with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said traveling manatees aren't uncommon, but are usually spotted in eastern parts of the state.

"Like I say, we do get, we estimate, probably a dozen or so every year in Lake Ponchartrain," said Gregory.

Further west, in our area, those figures are drastically different.

"It's actually the seventh record that we have on record in our database of manatees in Southwest Louisiana," he said. 

So, how and why did this creature get all the way here from its native Florida? 

"They have a few thousand over there, so I'm sure it can get pretty crowded during the summers and so, we've got a lot of great habitat here in the state and they're starting to discover that," Gregory said. 

Although this is the last place the manatee was seen, almost a month ago, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries believes it's already made its way to warmer waters.

"This time of the year, it's getting to be too cold for them so they need to migrate back to Florida which they typically do and that's what I feel like this animal is doing ... was probably on its way back," said Gregory.

He said the manatee appears to have made short visit to Southwest Louisiana, showing no real threat to humans or itself.

"We haven't had a need to change any regulations and so, here the sightings are much fewer and more infrequent," Gregory said. 

Copyright KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Man facing theft charges after posing as taxi driver

    Man facing theft charges after posing as taxi driver

    Friday, July 20 2018 11:12 PM EDT2018-07-21 03:12:20 GMT
    "Make sure that whether you use a cab or whether you use a shared ride program that it's legitimate. Not just someone standing saying 'Hey I'll give you a ride," McGee said."Make sure that whether you use a cab or whether you use a shared ride program that it's legitimate. Not just someone standing saying 'Hey I'll give you a ride," McGee said.
    "Make sure that whether you use a cab or whether you use a shared ride program that it's legitimate. Not just someone standing saying 'Hey I'll give you a ride," McGee said."Make sure that whether you use a cab or whether you use a shared ride program that it's legitimate. Not just someone standing saying 'Hey I'll give you a ride," McGee said.

    It was around 4:30 in the morning when the Calcasieu Parish sheriff's office got a call to a gas station on Gertsner Memorial Boulevard. "A couple got into a vehicle that they thought was either a taxi, or a shared ride program and it was not," James McGee, Enforcement Commander for the Calcasieu Parish sheriff's office, said.  When the couple pulled off to use the restroom, they came back out to find the taxi driver had left with their personal belongings and cell ph...

    More >>

    It was around 4:30 in the morning when the Calcasieu Parish sheriff's office got a call to a gas station on Gertsner Memorial Boulevard. "A couple got into a vehicle that they thought was either a taxi, or a shared ride program and it was not," James McGee, Enforcement Commander for the Calcasieu Parish sheriff's office, said.  When the couple pulled off to use the restroom, they came back out to find the taxi driver had left with their personal belongings and cell ph...

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Twelve to take test to be next Lake Charles Chief of Police

    Twelve to take test to be next Lake Charles Chief of Police

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:26 PM EDT2018-07-21 01:26:36 GMT
    The City of Lake Charles is currently in the hiring process to replace retiring Chief of Police Don Dixon. Dixon is retiring in January 2019. (Source: Spark)The City of Lake Charles is currently in the hiring process to replace retiring Chief of Police Don Dixon. Dixon is retiring in January 2019. (Source: Spark)

    Twelve people have applied to take the Civil Service test to be the next Chief of Police for the Lake Charles Police Department. Current Chief of Police Don Dixon has announced that he intends to retire Jan. 15, 2019. The deadline to apply to take the test was Wednesday, July 18. The dozen people who applied are made up of several former and current LCPD members and law enforcement from agencies in Louisiana and Texas. KPLC's Theresa Schmidt will be interviewing Mayor Ni...

    More >>

    Twelve people have applied to take the Civil Service test to be the next Chief of Police for the Lake Charles Police Department. Current Chief of Police Don Dixon has announced that he intends to retire Jan. 15, 2019. The deadline to apply to take the test was Wednesday, July 18. The dozen people who applied are made up of several former and current LCPD members and law enforcement from agencies in Louisiana and Texas. KPLC's Theresa Schmidt will be interviewing Mayor Ni...

    More >>
  • Westlake marching band beats the heat

    Westlake marching band beats the heat

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-07-21 01:16:51 GMT

    Westlake High School's marching band doesn't have camp until next week, but freshmen joining the band were out practicing Friday. But they weren't going through formations on the football field. They were in the parking lot.

    More >>

    Westlake High School's marching band doesn't have camp until next week, but freshmen joining the band were out practicing Friday. But they weren't going through formations on the football field. They were in the parking lot.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly