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HOMOSASSA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: Manatees swim in the Homosassa River on October 05, 2021 in Homosassa, Florida. Conservationists, including those from the Homosassa River Restoration Project, plant seagrass in the area to help restore the natural habitat for manatees and provide a feeding ground for the mammals, following a record year in manatee deaths in Florida. The deaths were primarily from starvation due to the loss of seagrass beds. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

I had to laugh when I saw this warning, but apparently it’s happening enough that police are having to put out the message that says “no touching mating manatees”.

I’m sure you already know that it’s illegal to touch a manatee, and yes, that also applies when they’re mating. Sarasota police are now reminding people of that after a video made the rounds on social media over the weekend showing several beachgoers touching manatees as they were mating at South Lido Beach.

Our officers spotted several manatees mating near South Lido Beach on Sunday afternoon. Quite a few folks were trying...

Posted by Sarasota Police Department on Sunday, August 7, 2022


WFLA reports that not only can interacting with manatees be dangerous to both humans and the animals, but because manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act you could be fined up to $50,000 and even put in jail for up to a year for doing so.

Officials say that if you do come across mating manatees, observing from a “respectful” distance is ok (if you’re into that), however if you see an injured, distressed or deceased manatee in Sarasota or Manatee counties to call the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s 24/7 hotline at 888-345-2335 or down here in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, you can call the FWC help line 1-888-404-FWCC and press 7.


15 Movies Filmed In Southwest Florida

I always love reading books and watching TV shows and movies that have a Florida connection, and especially seeing places that you’re familiar with and knowing your favorite actor or actress was there too is super cool. I did some searching and found 15 movies that were filmed right here in Southwest Florida.

I just finished the TV series “The Glades” that was filmed on the east coast of Florida and it got me thinking that there had to be other series filmed here on the west coast. If you haven’t seen it, it actually premiered back in 2010 but it’s like a CSI-type show where each episode features a different murder with some great personal character stories woven in. I couldn’t find anything that was filmed here as far as TV goes, but for movies, there’s quite a list. Some of them I knew, and some I didn’t, so now I have a few to add to my to-watch list.

Of course with miles and miles of beautiful beaches, charming downtown areas and over a million acres of wetlands preserve with The Everglades, there’s a backdrop for just about any movie, and being able to film year round down here is a major bonus.

From zombies to owls, ghost orchids, scandals and football players the variety of movies filmed partially or fully here in our area is wide. Just a few of the many actors who have filmed here include Denzel Washington, Sean Connery, Joe Pesci, Reese Witherspoon, Woody Harrelson and Jayne Mansfield.


15 Movies Filmed in Southwest Florida:

  • "The Hybrids Family" (2015)

    Filming for this horror movie spoof was filmed primarily in Ave Maria with some locals and Ave Maria students appearing as extras.

  • "Hoot" (2006)

    Hoot” was filmed mainly on the east coast of Florida, but parts of the movie were shot in Boca Grande and Gasparilla Island.

  • "Out Of Time" (2003)

    This crime thriller starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes was filmed in Boca Grande.

  • "Striptease" (2002)

    This Demi Moore flick was filmed primarily in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, however some parts of the movie were shot in Clewiston.

  • "Adaptation" (2002)

    This film featuring Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage was shot primarily in Los Angeles, but some scenes were filmed at the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve.

  • "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002)

    This Reese Witherspoon rom-com had parts filmed at South Seas Resort on Captiva.


  • "Palmetto" (1998)

    Some of Woody Harrelson’s scenes were shot in downtown Fort Myers, others were shot in Charlotte County, Palmetto and Sarasota.

  • "Gone Fishin'" (1997)

    This Disney comedy was filmed all over Southwest Florida, from Fort Myers, Estero, Marco Island and Bonita Springs to Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades National Park.

  • "Just Cause" (1995)

    This thriller was filmed in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and other parts of Collier County.

  • "Blue Sky" (1994)

    Jessica Lange won an Academy Award for Best Actress for this drama filmed in Fort Myers and North Captiva Island.

  • "Coupe De Ville" (1990)

    Some of the scenes from this comedy-drama were filmed in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

  • "Day of the Dead" (1985)

    The underground scenes were filmed in Pennsylvania, but the above ground scenes were filmed in downtown Fort Myers.

  • "Night Moves" (1975)

    This Gene Hackman film had scenes shot on Sanibel Island.

  • "The Fat Spy" (1966)

    This comedy parody flick was filmed in Cape Coral. Some of the scenes were shot at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, the beach and the Iwo Jima memorial.

  • "Wind Across the Everglades" (1958)

    Filming for this Christopher Plummer movie took place in the town of Chokoloskee.


Police Touching Mating Manatees

Marija was born and raised in Illinois, but moved to Florida in 2018. She loves dogs, kayaking, concerts, beachin', checking out new restaurants & is always planning her next vacation. Follow her on Instagram @marija127