Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Sebastian River Preserve State Park, spillway

(Updated at 1:35)  I just got a text that this manatee has been checked out and in the end is apparently a happy, lazy manatee that just happened to be sunning itself for hours.

(Original post) There was what appeared to be a sick manatee at the manatee watch today. He seemed to have trouble submerging and was mostly just floating on the top of the water. If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can see what appears to be a white line going down the back of his neck, possibly a scar. Another volunteer thought there might be a rope around the manatee's tail, but none of the pictures I took showed that.

The inability to submerge could be indicative of anything from illness from something it ate, to a punctured lung from a boat strike (although none of the pictures I took showed any indication of a boat strike either) or nothing wrong at all.

The good news is that we did see him finally submerge a few times, the bad news is that it looked like he was struggling to do it, and he quickly resumed just floating. One of the issues with it floating partly out of the water like this is that it has been unseasonably warm here, and manatees can get sunburned.

The park service is aware of an is monitoring the situation.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

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