Manatee death in Cape Coral in a year of record deaths across the state

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
manatee death
Credit: Ryan Sheehan

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had to come to remove a manatee from Cape Coral this morning after another death occurred. This happened during a record-breaking year of manatee deaths in Florida.

Ryan Sheehan saw something floating while looking down from his balcony in Cape Coral. At, first, he wasn’t sure what it was. “Seeing it against the sea wall from up above, I couldn’t tell till I walked around the building and took a closer inspection,” Sheehan said.

“The more I looked at it the more I thought ‘wait that’s a dead manatee,'” he said.

A young manatee had died within its first year of life and was floating down a canal. “I think it was pretty freshly dead,” Sheehan said.

FWC was able to recover the manatee. They say because of the level of decomposition, they can’t figure out what the cause of death was just yet.

Patrick Rose is the executive director of the Save the Manatee Club. “In the summertime where it’s warm like this can happen very rapidly within 24 hours,” Rose said.

This is yet another addition to the already staggering number of manatee deaths this year. The latest figures show that there have been 881 manatee deaths this year.

“The same problems the starvation due to the loss of seagrasses the algal blooms which have shaded them out that prospect is ready to return next winter so that’s really serious,” said Rose. That is especially true with the constant threat of red tide.

FWC is holding meetings Wednesday and Thursday in Bonita Springs to discuss the manatee mortality problem focusing primarily on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. They will also discuss work to enhance manatee habitats. Those meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point and they are open to the public.

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