High tide gives family of manatees free buffet in Florida woman's backyard

Manatees jump sea wall and munch on grass
Posted at 10:05 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 07:50:25-04

High tides and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Colin, allowed manatees to access a Florida woman's freshly-cut lawn.  

St. Petersburg resident Nancy Smith said water levels came over the seawall about a foot into her yard on Monday. 

"One pulled itself up over the seawall and started snacking away on our freshly mowed grass!" she wrote in an Instagram post with video.

Smith said she doesn’t mind feeding the manatees, and they can come back anytime.

“Everyone loves manatees,” Smith said.  “They are my gentle giants.”

Smith's manatee video on Instagram has received more than 1,700 views since it was published June 6.

“I’ve never seen a manatee go across a sea wall. Have you?  It was so fascinating, it was so exciting to see it.  I'm grateful my dog didn't see it because she would've scared her away,” said Smith.

Smith said the manatees hung out for an hour each day and then went back into the bay.  Her NE St. Petersburg home is on a narrow channel so she sees manatees every now and again, but nothing like this. 

She gave her husband a little credit for getting the manatees attention with such a well-manicured, green grass.

“He grows and mows. He is my master gardener,” Smith said.