Meet TruffleShuffle 


truffleshuffle manatee

TruffleShuffle’s Information:

Rescue Date: 11/27/2018 Release Date: 02/15/2021
Rescue Location: Largo, FL Release Location: TECO Powerplant, FL
Reason for Rescue: Orphan Calf Tag Number: 110754

TruffleShuffle was rescued as an orphan calf in Largo, Pinellas County, Florida on November 27, 2018. He was 170 centimeters long and weighed 205 pounds at the time of his rescue. TruffleShuffle was transported to Sea World of Florida for care. He was transferred to Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden to continue his rehabilitation. He was released on February 15, 2021, at TECO in Hillsborough County. He was 251 centimeters in length and weighed 605 pounds. He will be monitored by Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute.

Field Notes:

November 2021

1. 11/26/2021 07:45 AM
Truffleshuffle has been continuing to utilize the discharge canal at the TECO Bayside plant, moving out to the nearby shallow areas at hightide to feed. Today he was milling just outside a deep shipping channel with s few other manatees. He found a spot to feed in and that kept him busy for a tag exchange and body condition assessment.

2. 11/25/2021 08:00 AM
Truffleshuffle has been using the TECO Bayside plant to keep warm so far this winter. He has been moving out daily during high tide to some grassy areas nearby. Today he was traveling along the shipping channel alongside a large container ship. The ship entered the port and Truffleshuffle veered into a shallow area to feed.  As the tide receded, he traveled back into the port canal where the warm water discharge is.

3. 11/12/2021 12:30 PM
Truffleshuffle spent last week in the smaller, TECO Bayside discharge canal. Today, with the warmer weather, he traveled north to Palm River where he was socializing with a mom and calf. After interacting for some time, they began to bottom rest in the deep part of the river. Truffleshuffle’s respirations were every 8 minutes when he was resting.

4. 11/03/2021 08:30 AM
TruffleShuffle was socializing with a manatee in the Alafia River. They were interacting in the same area for a short amount of time then began to travel upriver together. As the other manatee stopped, TruffleShuffle kept going and traveled upriver by himself until he found another manatee. He traveled with his new friend further upriver, where they found docks to socialize under. At the end of the visual, TruffleShuffle traveled nearly two miles.

October 2021

1. 10/26/2021 08:00 AM
Last week Truffleshuffle moved into TECO to confirm his reservation for this winter, then moved back to an area just north. Today he was traveling among the mangrove islands, stopping here and there to investigate. As the tide started moving out, he also made his way out to deeper water.

2. 10/20/2021 01:15 PM
TruffleShuffle was in a quiet area that leads from the Alafia River to Hillsborough Bay. He was socializing with one manatee for the first half of the visual, then a mom and calf pair stopped by to interact for a short time. Once the other manatees left his area, he milled around the shoreline and went in the direction of the Bay. He found a spot to rest for a few minutes, but decided it was not an ideal spot and he moved closer to the mangroves to rest for the remainder of the visual. Gas was observed twice from him.

3. 10/12/2021 08:30 AM
Truffleshuffle was feeding at the mouth of a small creek that leads into the bay. His tag attracted the attention of another manatee who thought it might make a good snack. Truffleshuffle interacted with the other animal for a while, chasing and being chased. They ended up traveling to a small cove and settled in there to feed again.

4. 10/04/2021 09:45 AM
TruffleShuffle was spotted feeding in Hillsborough Bay. He inched his way along while feeding, until a manatee joined him. They started to socialize and would swim side by side of each other. Once they reached a shallower area, they started feeding on submerged vegetation. After a quick snack, TruffleShuffle continued to socialize with the same manatee for the rest of the visual.

September 2021

1. 09/27/2021 02:00 PM
TruffleShuffle was cavorting with a small group of manatees in Hillsborough Bay. They stopped cavorting and socialized briefly, then all traveled to the nearby shoreline. TruffleShuffle milled around the others and eventually started cavorting again. After his active afternoon, he bottom rested for the rest of the visual.

2. 09/20/2021 12:45 AM
TruffleShuffle was with a group of manatees who were all feeding in Hillsborough Bay. He rested for a brief period and then for the rest of the visual, he had a long afternoon feast on submerged vegetation with his fellow manatees. He moved with the group as they all continued to eat.

3. 09/15/2021 12:00 PM
Truffleshuffle was milling around in Hillsborough Bay. He found a spot to feed in and indulged. A couple of other manatees moved past him, and he abruptly broke off to follow them. He stayed in hot pursuit as they traveled across the bay. He caught up with them near the end of the visual and began to socialize.

4. 09/07/2021 09:30 PM
TruffleShuffle was first seen resting in a more open and deeper area of Hillsborough Bay than previous observations. He milled and traveled around a bit then rested more. Once he was done resting, he traveled to a shallower area further away. He eventually realized something was following him and he came close by the boat. When he was within 15 ft, he quickly turned and traveled away from the boat, into deeper and very choppy water.

August 2021

1. 08/30/2021 08:30 AM
TruffleShuffle was spotted eating vegetation in the same area as last week in Hillsborough Bay. He soon found another manatee and began socializing. He eventually made his way into slightly deeper water and rested. Once he was done resting, TruffleShuffle started traveling and milling around again. A small amount (approximately 6 in) of fishing line was observed on his tag.

2.08/25/2021 12:00 PM
TruffleShuffle was near a mangrove-lined shore of Hillsborough Bay today. A health assessment was attempted in the beginning of the observation and confirmed he was eating from patches of vegetation on the bottom. He soon traveled away to find a quieter spot to feed. He kept moving from one spot to the next, stopping to eat, then moving on. TruffleShuffle eventually found a few other manatees that were feeding nearby in a shallower area and started to socialize with them. 

3. 08/17/2021 11:00 AM
TruffleShuffle has found a spot he likes, as he was seen feeding in the same shallow area in Hillsborough Bay as last week. As soon as a new manatee appeared, TruffleShuffle began to follow it towards deeper water. Once he stopped his pursuit, he saw more manatees and stuck around nearby. The other manatees left the area just before a seaplane landed on the water approximately one mile away from TruffleShuffle. He was not fond of the seaplane and moved back into shallow water away from it.

4. 08/11/2021 10:00 AM
 TruffleShuffle was milling around in a shallow area of Hillsborough Bay. Manatee heads started popping up everywhere and TruffleShuffle noticed also. He made the rounds meeting everyone until he found a couple that were up for company. They socialized together for most of the rest of the visual. A body condition assessment was attempted but TruffleShuffle stayed just far enough away to prevent that from being successful.

5. 08/06/2021 08:15 AM
TruffleShuffle was feeding with a large group of manatees in Hillsborough Bay. They would all feed for a while, then move together to another spot, then feed some more. They did this for the entire observation.

July 2021

1. 07/29/2021 10:15 AM
After a thorough inspection of Port Tampa, Truffleshufffle came back to Hillsborough Bay. He was milling in the shallows but as the tide went out, he headed for the deeper channel. Once he reached a spot he liked, he began bottom resting for the remainder of the visual.

2. 07/19/2021 09:30 AM
TruffleShuffle was milling on a mudflat in McKay Bay when he spotted a mom and calf feeding on Mangroves. He approached them and they began to move up an itsy, bitsy creek with Truffle Shuffle in hot pursuit. Once they reached an open spot, they all turned around and went back out, which was not any more fun the second time through. Once back in the bay there was some casual socialization before the mom and calf moved on and TruffleShuffle settled down for a rest.

3. 07/13/2021 08:45 AM
TruffleShuffle made his way back to Hillsborough Bay and was out in the deeper area. He was staying under for 7-8 minutes at a time, coming up in a different place then deep diving back down. He did not seem to be resting and feeding could not be confirmed though there was a lot of vegetation floating on the surface. He evaded a speeding boat and was responsive to an approach by the research vessel. There is still Red Tide in the area so all of his movements are under close scrutiny but so far all appears normal.

4. 07/08/2021 08:45 AM
TruffleShuffle spent the weekend in the freshwater part of the Alafia River, avoiding the high concentrations of Red Tide occurring in the Bay. Today he was in a small cove off the main part of the river. After resting in the quiet spot for a while he moved out to meet a group of manatees and began socializing.

June 2021

1. 06/30/2021 09:00 AM
 TruffleShuffle was following a mom/calf pair in Hillsborough Bay. When they stopped, they could be seen interacting with one another. The calf was especially fond of Truffleshuffle’s tag, pulling it down and mouthing on it. TruffleShuffle found a section of seagrass that needed his attention and his companions moved on without him.

2. 06/23/2021 08:30 AM
TruffleShuffle made his regular trip into the Alafia River, to a small cove he likes. He was casually socializing with a mom/ calf pair until they moved under a dock to rest. He milled around the cove until another manatee made its presence known a little further away. He headed over to it and they interacted for the duration of the observation. Gas was observed.

3. 06/17/2021 09:00 AM
TruffleShuffle was milling near the shore of a spoil island in Hillsborough Bay. He began to travel towards the shallows as the tide came in. He made a wide loop to avoid some boats then met up with a few other manatees. After proper salutations were exchanged the feasting began. Another boat caused TruffleShuffle to relocate but he found another spot to his liking and went back to eating.

4. 06/07/2021 08:00 AM
Truffleshuffle was cavorting with a couple of manatees in Hillsborough Bay. The activity settled down and he was calmly socializing with a mom/calf pair for a while. A commotion started a little bit away from them and TruffleShuffle hot flippered it over there. It was another cavorting group, and he went all in.

5. 06/02/2021 01:00 PM
TruffleShuffle was north of the Alafia River, in Hillsborough Bay feeding on submerged vegetation. He was joined by a couple of other manatees and once everyone was full of food, they began to interact with one another. A mom/calf pair broke away from the group and TruffleShuffle followed them. The trio traveled out towards the bay.

May 2021

1. 05/24/2021 08:30 AM
TruffleShuffle made a run out to the bay and then back into the Alafia River over the weekend. This morning he was heading back out as if he had an appointment, and he could not be late. He made a few brief stops here and there but otherwise he was heading west.

2. 05/20/2021 09:30 AM
TruffleShuffle was located again in the Alafia River a little further west than the day before. He was stationary close to shore, then met up with a couple of other manatees. He traveled down river a little more then came to rest behind a dock that was under construction. A GPS safety was able to be clipped on before he continued traveling down river. He again came to rest close to shore and seemed rather settled. At that point, his old, damaged tag was able to be removed and a new tag put on. After the tag exchange he continued down river. Welcome back Truffle Shuffle!

3. 05/19/2021 02:30 PM
Responded with FWC to a citizen’s call regarding an entangled manatee in the Alafia River, hoping it could be the missing TruffleShuffle. There were no manatees in distress in the area. A sonic and visual search was conducted up and down the river only to find the animal in question, as we were leaving, at the boat ramp. It was indeed TruffleShuffle with a severely damaged tag! He moved back out into the river where a strong wind made keeping a visual on him difficult. A couple of close attempts were made to at least attach a safety tag but were not successful. Another attempt to relocate and retag him will be conducted tomorrow.

April 2021

1. 04/18/2021 11:15 AM
Truffleshuffle’s tag stopped transmitting just north of the mouth of the Alafia River. We will continue to look for him in hopes of getting him back on line.

2. 04/14/2021 08:30 AM
Truffleshuffle was traveling into a sheltered cove off Hillsborough Bay. The cove was erupting in cavorting groups scattered around it. Truffleshuffle moved to each one, participating briefly before moving on to the next. He finally settled into a small group sedately socializing. Eventually all the hullabaloo ceased and Truffleshuffle was able to find a quiet spot to rest in.

3. 04/05/2021 08:00 AM
TruffleShuffle crossed the bay over the weekend and was exploring the Ballast Point area. He milled around the pier, checking out all the submerged rocks and pilings. He began traveling again following the seawall for a time before turning back out into the bay and seemed to be heading back across.

March 2021

1. 03/30/2021 08:00 AM
TruffleShuffle was traveling out of a creek into Tampa Bay. He was racing an outgoing tide and when he made it to the deeper water, he took a rest. A couple manatees caught his attention and he engaged with them briefly before they took to feeding. There is a small channel in this area that maintains good water level and as the tide bottomed out, they maneuvered to it making their way to a sheltered cove that TruffleShuffle frequents.

2. 03/26/2021 12:00 PM
Truffleshuffle made his first appearance at TECO since his release. His tag was visible meandering down the canal with a few other animals. He arrived at the first discharge and milled around until finding a suitable sunny spot to surface rest.

3. 03/24/2021 10:30 AM
Truffleshuffle returned to the bay and was just south of the mouth of the Alafia River. From the way he was tossing his head he was feeding. At one point he took off fast and did a loop around the cove he was in. Though no other manatees were observed his actions seemed like he was interacting with something. After tiring of whatever caught his attention he returned to his original spot and began feeding again. An approach for a body condition assessment confirmed he was eating Grassilaria but little else due to the sediment he was stirring up

4. 03/21/2021 08:30 AM
Truffleshuffle was traveling down the Alafia River after having spent some time in a spring nearby. He stopped near a dock where another manatee was resting and engaged briefly. The other manatee did not seem that interested in him, so he milled around by the shore then under the dock. He then continued traveling down river.

5. 03/10/2021 07:00 AM
With this last cold front TruffleShuffle found refuge in the TECO Bayside plant. He was socializing in the discharge canal with several other manatees. According to plant staff manatees sit outside the discharge waiting their turn to get in. Between that and the copious amounts of foam on the surface, this is as close to a rave as manatees are likely to get.

6. 03/04/2021 12:30 PM
TruffleShuffle was cavorting with another manatee in a sheltered cove off Hillsborough Bay. He zoomed around chasing and being chased. Finally, they settled down to feed for a while. TruffleShuffle traveled a little further out to deeper water then continued feeding.

7. 03/01/2021 07:30 AM
TruffleShuffle was in a shallow area of Hillsborough Bay and was moving out in advance of the receding tide. He was followed by his new shadow Viva. When he reached a spot he liked he stopped and socialized with Viva and another mom/calf pair. He then continued to move on to an area with some thick grass and began to feed.

February 2021

1. 02/25/2021 09:45 AM
TruffleShuffle has been exploring the eastern edge of Tampa Bay. Today he was north of Apollo Beach with zipping around after other manatees. He settled down in an area where manatees were clearly feeding with lots of head tossing. Though TruffleShuffle was in the midst of them, it could not be confirmed whether he was eating also. The only time his head came up it was smushed into the nose of another manatee coming up at the same time. All the manatees, including TruffleShuffle quieted down and rested for a long time. Right before the end of the observation TruffleShuffle started to stir and traveled towards shore.

2. 02/16/2021 01:00 PM
After his release Truffleshuffle left TECO and today was just outside the TECO canal. He was cavorting with three other manatees including Dex and Retale. The three tagged manatees were charging around the sound keeping in a tight formation. Their antics continued for most of the observation until they separated slightly and appeared to be resting.

truffleshuffle manatee

All manatee Photos & Research conducted under USFWS Threatened Marine Mammal Scientific Research permit # MA770191.

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