Baby manatee named Emoji at Lowry Park Zoo

- Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo recently took in a young manatee calf that needed medical care and some love.

The zoo says the baby manatee was in pretty rough shape, but is doing a lot better. So, in honor of November being Manatee Awareness Month - and a push by the zoo to have a manatee added to the list of Unicode emoji characters - the Lowry Park Zoo staff named the calf Emoji.

The animal care team at Lowry Park Zoo said he seems to like his new name. They hope adding a manatee emoji to keyboards on mobile devices across the world, it will be easier for people to think about and share their love for our favorite gentle giants of the ocean.

Manatee Awareness Month was created in 2005 by Gov. Jeb Bush.

The FWC says as the cooler weather moves in, boaters should be aware that the manatees will move in large groups to warmer waters.

The Manatee Viewing Center at TECO's Big Bend Power Station opened this week to visitors. When the water temperatures dip to 68 degrees or cooler, the manatees gather in the warm water discharge canal of the power station, sometimes by the hundreds.

Anyone can help contribute to manatee conservation by purchasing a "Save the Manatee" license plate at BuyaPlate.com or donate $5 to get a manatee decal.

In addition to seeing manatees at the TECO power station, people can find where to see them by going to MyFWC.com/Manatee and click on "Where can I see Manatees?"

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