Twin baby manatees named Millennium and Falcon are the newest hit at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The nine-month-old marine mammals were rescued from the Florida Keys after their mother was tragically killed in a boat strike; they’re being cared for as part of the zoo’s Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership.
Twins are rare in the manatee world, counting for only about one percent of births with survival rates being even lower. (These twins are so rare, in fact, that Millennium and Falcon may be the first such manatees ever documented in their growth.) But now that they’re here, the 200-pound tots are living up to every twin stereotype by being completely, adorably inseparable.
“Because they’re twins, they’re always together,” caretaker Becky Ellsworth told People. “They’re sleeping together. They’re eating together. They’re going up for breaths of air together. It’s really fun to see.” They are prone to communicating with happy clicking sounds, and they’ve even appeared to use each another as security blankets when sleeping.
The twins will continue their rehabilitation at the Columbus Zoo for the next two years, and after that, they’ll be returned to the wild in Florida. Thankfully, they will be sporting satellite tags so their human friends will be able to keep track of their adventures and safety.
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