A Manatee Swims in the Hudson:

The New York Times reports:

Added to the chronicles of great beasts that have descended upon New York City in the year 2006 is one that is arguably the greatest of them all. A beast, upwards of 1,000 pounds and a cousin to the elephant, which dwarfs the coyote, the deer and the dolphin that preceded it. A beast that, at hundreds of miles north of its natural habitat, has most likely made the longest and most arduous journey among them. A beast, with a pudgy-nosed face and a sweet-potato-shaped body, that could even be considered cute: a manatee.

...and thanks to the elimination of DDT and other useful pesticides, our chubby manatee friend is joined by bedbugs, disease-carrying mosquitos and flies.
8.7.2006 4:41pm
Has Homeland Security checked it for explosives? How do we know that this manatee hasn't been trained by terrorists to carry explosives, swim up to a crowded boat, and set them off? For that matter, do we really know that this is an American manatee? What if it is a foreigner? Shouldn't our immigration people be protecting us from illegal immigrant manatees? And then there's the question of whether this manatee came to New York for the easy welfare -- probably figures that it will get handouts from the state, free veterinary care, and a Cadillac. Then it will complain that the state must teach it to drive...
8.7.2006 4:56pm
John1138 (mail):
Except for the beast being north of its home and being referred to as possibly cute, I was expecting them to say "Ted Kennedy" all along.
8.7.2006 5:01pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
So the urban legend was almost right: Tourists come back to New York from Florida with baby manatees and when they get too big they flush them into the sewers.
8.7.2006 5:10pm
cirby (mail):

We have the reverse problem in Florida. People keep leaving little tourists here when they come see the manatees, but they're too big to flush.
8.7.2006 5:37pm
David Chesler wrote:
So the urban legend was almost right: Tourists come back to New York from Florida with baby manatees and when they get too big they flush them into the sewers.
It's worse than that. Due to unrestricted pre-WWII French tourism, we now call them Freedom-atees.
8.7.2006 7:19pm
A. Zarkov (mail):

It won't qualify for all those goodies. After looking at some Google images, I can't say it's "manatee of color."
8.7.2006 9:11pm
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
What? There have NEVER been any orcas, or other great whales spotted in the Hudson River? Considering all the other places they have shown up, I would find that highly unlikely.
8.8.2006 12:45am
BobN (mail):
OK, I can't help myself.

Warning: very silly and somewhat addictive.
8.8.2006 2:53am
Arkanssouri John (www):
I've got a feeling this will turn out about as well as the story of Free Willy's Keiko did.

Belly up.
8.8.2006 11:59am
DC Lawyer (mail):
Perhaps the Manatee is trying to escape the fact that its habitat in Florida is ever dwindling or that stupid people refuse to reduce the speed of their motorboats in manatee habitat.

Or perhaps this is yet another sign that global climate change is happening, and as scientists predict, it is having its primary impact right now on ocean currents and temperatures.

Make fun all you want. But there's another side to this story.
8.8.2006 2:22pm
Kyle Canyon:
Or maybe it's a sign of manatee overpopulation and Florida needs to re-open manatee hunting season. As you can imagine, its meat is both white and fatty -- giving it great appeal to white and dark meat lovers.
8.8.2006 3:28pm