We are currently resident volunteers at ‘Ding’ Darling NWR in Sanibel, FL and we’re visiting family in Bad Windshiem, Germany. On our walk around town, I spotted a statute of a man with a manatee. Manatees in Sanibel FL are a common sight; swimming in Tarpon Bay or as yard or mailbox decorations, but seeing one displayed in Bad Windsheim was a surprise.
The carving of the man with the manatee is George Willhelm Steller who was born in Bad Windsheim (1709-1746).
Stellar spotted the sea creature in 1741, off the Bering Island. This was thousands of miles from its nearest relative, the manatees who lives in the tropics.
The Steller sea cow (manatee) was named after him along with several species of bird, including Steller’s Jay.
The last Steller sea cow was seen in 1768.