BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A favorite visitor to the Chesapeake Bay is apparently alive and well and is being tracked by the National Aquarium.

Alex DeMetrick tells us about the return of Chessie.

Chessie’s a manatee. He may be slow and a long way from home, but he definitely has a thing for the bay.

As marine mammals go, manatees don’t get around all that much. Most stay in the warmer waters of Florida, although one does tend to wander.

“It’s great to see Chessie, who we haven’t seen in 10 years, is alive and well and that’s very exciting for us,” said Jennifer Bloomer, National Aquarium spokesperson.

A photo obtained by WJZ’s media partner, the Baltimore Sun, caught Chessie in a marina in Calvert County.

They know it’s him because “he has very distinctive markings, scars on his body,” said Bloomer. “The USGS biologists down in Florida keep records of all the manatees.”

Chessie was first spotted in the bay in 1994. Because Chessie was in the Chester River with cold water coming, the National Aquarium organized a rescue. It was feared the manatee would not make it back to warmer water before winter.

“At that time, we did intervene and we were able to collect him,” Bloomer said. “He came and stayed here at the aquarium for a few days before he was successfully flown back to Florida.”

Because manatees swim slowly, boats pose the greatest threat. So the aquarium is alerting marinas because it’s a big bay, and Chessie could be anywhere.

The aquarium is not planning on another capture and free flight home—at least not yet.

But they are asking people who spot the manatee to call in, so they can track his movements.

The last time Chessie entered the bay was 2001 when he cruised Virginia waters.

Comments (10)
  1. ancientone says:

    Cheesie???????????????? I think they editor must be asleep. The first paragraphs of the story its Chessie, then the poor thing turns into Cheesie?

  2. pigeon says:

    Chessie – welcome back – it’s great to know you are doing okay! Just don’t linger too long in the bay – water quality isn’t all that good, but they say they are working on it! Next time you head up here it should be a lot better so please feel free to bring a friend.

    1. LOL says:

      Right, because he reads this website….

      1. pigeon says:

        You need a sense of humor!

    2. Antoinette Esposito says:

      well i think its cute to say to chessie 🙂

  3. chalkie says:

    I think the writer of this story needs a proof reader. As they wrote “Because manatees swim slowly, boats pose the greatest threat. So the aquarium is alerting marinas because it’s a big bag, and Cheesie could be anywhere.” I thought it was a big bay not a big bag. And they wonder why people make comments about thier stories. I am glad to see the old seacow is doing good and has returned to the bay again.

    1. Jacob says:

      I’m pretty sure no one actually WRITES or TYPES the articles on the website- it’s speech recognition software which they probably filter directly to the site from the reporter’s audio when he makes the on-air report. Either way, you will see mistakes like this in ALL of WJZ’s articles. It’s unacceptable, but I doubt anyone cares enough to change it – unfortunately the lack of professionalism in editing distracts from what could be very interesting stories.

      1. Chel Jump says:

        I agree chalkie and Jacob. It is distracting when there are so many grammar or spelling errors.

        I’m glad Chessie is doing well, also.

  4. what? says:

    Wow do people seriously read articles just to find mistakes… Get a life people

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