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Homassa Springs, FL-Manatees

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In this show it may look as though I'm tracking the manatee. Well, it was actually a bit different. Manatees are very gentle plant-eaters, and they're also very curious. This manatee actually approached me in the water. She seemed to want to know more about me as much as I wanted to know more about her.

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One thing that made the manatee so comfortable was the diving rig I was using. I was using a re-breather, which meant that I was re-using my own exhaled air; the re-breather was recycling it. There were no bubbles, and I think the manatee was extra-curious to see something that seemed to belong under the water.

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As with a lot of shows, there's a poisonous snake in this episode, the cottonmouth. But no one should think that I'm comfortable with these venomous snakes. All poisonous snakes have to be treated with a great deal of care, respect, and the know-how that comes with training. My background includes a lot of experience with snakes and, even though I know how to handle them, I'm always cautious.

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And that oyster you see me eat in the show is exactly the same kind of saltwater oyster that you'll find in your local fishmarket. Even though the river is freshwater, the water there is brackish enough-salty enough-to support oyster beds.

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It may have looked dangerous calling to those gators and trying to nab one -- but it wasn't. They were little gators which would have been no problem for me to nab. But what you don't see is that I checked to make sure that there was no big gator lurking by. I didn't want to go after a baby and get nabbed by mama!