Neighbor worries manatee was killed by boat in Cape Coral canal

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A neighborhood canal in Cape Coral. Credit: WINK News.

The body of a manatee was found floating in Cape Coral canal Wednesday, and the woman who found it says no one has removed it.

Jennifer Hanna says she plans to post signs on her dock, so people don’t forget manatees swim in the canal.

“There’s a lot of noise, a lot of flippers being flipped,” Hanna said. “It’s something to see.”

During the morning, Hanna came something less than exciting when she found a manatee dead in the water.

“I was just sitting the in yard with my father, and I said, ‘Gee, do you smell that terrible smell?’” Hanna said. “And I said, ‘I think it’s coming from the canal.’”

Hanna fears the manatee she found is a young calf.

“I don’t know,” Hanna said. “I was a little shaken up.”

Hanna posted about it on Facebook. People recommended she reach out to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and she did.

“They asked me to send them a photo, and they would let me know what recourse they were going to take,” Hanna explained. “But they did state that, since I thought it was a baby, that they weren’t picking up calves at this point.”

We also reached out to FWC, and we were told it doesn’t always pick up dead animals, such as this manatee. The agency collects information about the death and sometimes takes samples to perform a necropsy to figure out how it died.

“I think it would be great if we could find out what happened,” Hanna said.

Hanna says boaters sometimes speed through these waterways.

“I can’t help but think that maybe there was a boat involved because people don’t realize that the manatees come this far up the canal,” Hanna said.

She wants to post signs, urging boaters to watch their speed and watch out for manatees.

FWC did not say whether it would be going out and taking samples from the manatee. We were told sometimes it allows wildlife to decompose naturally.

FWC urges community member to report about injured, distressed, sick or dead manatees.

Anyone who wants to leave tips similar to this incident can contact FWC through its Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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