Video: Manatee frolics with paddle boarders

Celine Chasteen and the manatee in Florida
Celine Chasteen and the manatee in Florida

Video has emerged showing a pair of paddle boarders in Florida being surprised by a third companion.

Celine Chasteen was enjoying the warm weather in the waters of Jupiter, Florida, with a human companion, when a manatee swam up and joined in - even placing its flippers on her board.

"It was so cool. I've never experienced anything like that before," Ms Chasteen told The Dodo.

"I thought he was really cute. He was really nice and stuff. I hope he drops by again."

Ms Chasteen managed to film her meeting with the marine mammal, who she originally thought was a rock.

"We were going along the coast and I saw what I thought were rocks, but then they started moving," she said.

"The next thing I know, there's a manatee putting his flippers on my board."

Ms Chasteen will have to keep her new pal at arm's length and refrain from hugs, however. Manatees are endangered and Florida law prohibits the "molesting, harassing or disturbing" of them.

The animals - sometimes called 'sea cows' - never leave the water but must surface to breath. Adults are between 2.4 and 4 metres long, and weigh 200 to 600 kilograms.