Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Manatees and Monkeys

When you're a toy monkey like me life isn't always easy. Now me? I KNOW that Al is crazy but he's afraid that other people will find out. I can usually talk him into taking me places with him, but sometimes he insists on taking that silly camera (the one with the ultra w-i-d-e angle lens) with him and pretending like he's working on his so called "environmental self-portrait" project.

A few weeks ago they had this thing at the Oleta River State Park here in North Miami where you could learn all about the environment, the fish, the birds, all that kind of thing. At one of the tables they had information about manatees (also called sea cows) and this cute little toy manatee sitting next to the booklets and brochures. Since my reading isn't exactly up to snuff (I write pretty good though, huh?) Al suggested that I stay and chat for a bit with Manny. I learned that manatees are related to the elephants and that Indians used to live on the banks of the river, where they sometimes killed and ate (yuck!) manatees. Manny went on to tell me that like monkeys they're pretty much complete vegetarians. I'm not sure, though, if I'd ever be able to adapt to a diet of sea grass and mangrove leaves. He told me that the occasional piece of fruit he'd found was a bit sweet for his taste. Just as our conversation turned to something a bit more interesting than what was good to eat Al showed up and said "Time to go!"

If you want to find out more about manatees this is a pretty good place to start:

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