Hugh & Buffett are manatees that were born at the Miami Seaquarium and brought to The Aquarium at Mote Marine Laboratory in May 1996. While their move to Mote was originally temporary, state officials decided that they could help teach the public about sea cows by keeping the Hugh and Buffett at Mote.
Today, Hugh and Buffett are the world's most highly trained manatees. Training helps their veterinary care to run more smoothly and allows the manatees to participate in grounbreaking research. By working with these mammals, Mote scientists and collaborators have learned much about how well manatees hear, how well they see and how sensitive their vibrasse – the hairs on the end of their snouts – are. Answering these important biological questions can help scientists understand more about Hugh’s and Buffett’s wild counterparts and give that information to the agencies that monitor this endangered population.
Hugh and Buffett eat about 72 heads of lettuce a day!
Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.