Does life imitate politics?

There’s an old saying: does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? With a first-for-Alabama this week, maybe the question should be: does life imitate politics?

For the first time, a manatee was captured and tagged in Alabama waters. Scientists from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Seaworld Orlando, and the Sea to Shore Alliance tagged a 1,000-pound manatee with a satellite receiver. Over the next few days, scientists found 11 manatees using aerial surveillance of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. This discovery proves the long-standing belief that manatees migrate from South Florida to Alabama.

Where does the politics come in? Well, an innocuous resolution wound its way through the legislature this session that would designate the manatee the official state mammal. HB452 passed both houses of the Alabama State Legislature unanimously and the bill was signed by Governor Riley on May 13, 2009.

While manatees have been seen in Alabama waters for years, it wasn’t until the legislature passed a resolution making the West Indian Manatee the state mammal that one was captured, tagged, and returned to the wild. Does life imitate politics?


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