How do you wish a manatee happy Valentine's Day? With heart beets, of course!
Manatees Hugh and Buffett enjoyed heart-shaped ice treats full of beets — one of their favorite snacks — to get ready for Valentine's Day this afternoon, Feb. 8, in The Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory.
Resident sea turtles Shelley and Montego also got to "eat their hearts out," enjoying special ice treats flavored with squid and fish. With their powerful jaws, perfect for feeding on shellfish, they crunched away on their holiday snacks.
"We wanted to do something special for Valentine's Day, and these treats are a great form of enrichment — something different for our animals to help keep them stimulated," said Kat Nicolaisen, senior manatee research trainer at Mote.
Visitors can see Mote's manatees and sea turtles on Valentine's Day— and any other day of the year from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. — in The Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.
Be sure to subscribe to this column and travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.