No summer stand-up paddle board session would be complete without a magical marine life encounter. Celine Chasteen experienced just that this week when she met the adorably chill manatee in the video below.
She and a friend were cruising the waters of Jupiter, Florida, on their paddle boards when they saw what appeared to be a rock in the distance.
“We were going along the coast and I saw what I thought were rocks, but then they started moving,” Chasteen told animal welfare blog The Dodo.
“The next thing I know, there’s a manatee putting his flippers on my board.”
Subsisting on a diet of seagrass and plants, manatees can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 1,200 pounds. Since they’re so large and slow-moving, they are often called sea cows. While that might suggest that they’re lazy, we’d like to think they’re just some of the chillest animals in the sea.
Though they resemble big, cuddly underwater bears, hugging or touching them could lead to jail time and a hefty fine. Manatees are on the endangered species list, but their population is recovering and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed reclassifying them as threatened.
In Chasteen’s case, it looked like the manatee just wanted to drop in on the summer fun.
“I thought he was really cute,” she told The Dodo of her new friend. “I hope he drops by again.”