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Footage of Manatee Hugging Florida Surfer's Board While in the Water Goes Viral: 'Hello, Beautiful!'

The sweet moment was shared on Reddit by the surfer

Lisa Graham / All Canada Photos / Getty Images Stock image of a male West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus
Lisa Graham / All Canada Photos / Getty Images Stock image of a male West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus

A seasoned surfer got a surprise visitor who popped up on his board.

Redditor r/shallowwaterahead shared video of the encounter with a manatee during a surf session somewhere in Florida. The video shows the manatee adorably putting one flipper on the board and hanging out on the edge.

"Hello, beautiful! How are you doing? Oh, you're doing well? Very good, nice," the surfer says to the manatee, who stops to dip its head back in the water periodically.

"It's nice to see you, too."

The video cuts off as the manatee turns to head back to the water, with the surfer yelling, "Oh jeez!"

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Related: Manatee Mom Recovers from 'Pretty Grim' Boat Strike Wound and Returns to the Wild with Her Baby

When one commenter wrote that the experience "must have been amazing," the surfer replied, sharing more about his encounter — which included more than one manatee.

"It was incredible! In 15 years, I’ve never had one act like that," he wrote.

"About 10 minutes earlier, he flipped my friend off her board. She lost her phone to the bottom. When her friend called it, it rang on the bottom and spooked about a dozen manatees."

"That’s why I go 'Oh jeez!' " he explains. "Thought I was going to get tail flipped too 😂😂."

Colors and shapes of underwater world/Getty Images Stock image of manatees under water in Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Colors and shapes of underwater world/Getty Images Stock image of manatees under water in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Last summer, authorities in Florida had to ask the public to stop calling in to report "distressed" manatees when seeing them clustered together, explaining the animals were exhibiting a natural mating behavior.

The Pinella County Sheriff's Office shared their message with a video. In the clip, a clump of slow-moving manatees flop and roll near the shore as Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" plays.

"If you see this… don't call us," the sheriff's office captioned the clip. "They are more than fine. It's mating season."

Manatee mating season occurs between March and September, especially in the hotter summer months. Breeding occurs in shallow waters in groups of 10-15 manatees, according to the Manatee Swim Center.

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