SARASOTA – Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties have had three, four, and six manatee deaths, in that order, according to state data. three of the deaths in manatee and Sarasota were from cold water.
“We’ve had cold weather. we’ve had red tide, which are both kind of bad things for the manatees in our area,” said Gretchen Lovewell who is the Stranding Investigations Program Manager of Mote Laboratory.
“With the red tide we look for different things from the animals like facial twitching and seizuring. they kind of look like they’re drunk in the water.when the animals are cold they actually get sores around the edges of their body, their face, and their tale,” said Lovewell
Sea cows are stratling between endangered and threatened so when using your water vehicles, be mindful
“Pay attention to the no wake zones those are put in place for a good reason, that’s where we know animals hang out. Things like wearing polarized sun glasses so that you can see through the water, so you can see those animals,” said Lovewell. “Just staying super alert and aware of your surroundings and paying attention because we’re guests in their home.”
The public can help reduce manatee deaths by reporting unusual manatee behavior to FWC’s wildlife alert hotline, 888-404-FWCC
Mote Aquarium’s hotline number is 941-988-0212.