Craig Pittman, an award-winning staff writer for The St. Petersburg Times

Craig Pittman, an award-winning staff writer for The St. Petersburg Times, discusses manatees and assorted related issues, politicians and other figures explored in his latest book “Manatee Insanity: Inside The War Over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species.”

 

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Craig Pittman, an award-winning staff writer for The St. Petersburg Times, who, since 1998 has covered environmental issues for the paper, discusses various aspects of his latest book “Manatee Insanity: Inside The War Over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species,” including the motivation for writing the book, notable for its uncommon achievement in both breadth and depth. He also spoke to the feelings he had about manatees prior to beginning the project, as both an accomplished journalist and native Floridian. Pittman commented on the gigantic cast of colorful characters who populate the book, from Henry Flagler to Jimmy Buffett to a manatee master of longevity named Snooty. And then there was the story of the guy in the gorilla costume. By way of a listener phone call, Pittman addressed the singular situation in Crystal River, the only area in Florida where it’s legal to swim with–and touch–manatees, resulting in a debate akin to that surrounding swim with dolphin programs. (www.ManateeInsanity.com)

COMEDY CORNER: Brian Regan’s “Animals” (www.BrianRegan.com)

MUSIC: Les Paul’s version of “Chicken Reel,” Eric Stone’s “The Manatee & The Jellyfish,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: King Crimson’s “Elephant Talk”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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