Titusville, Florida — Ribs protruding from the side, Manatees seem hungry A video shot by Dana Pinick at the Manatee Hammock Campground in Titusville, Florida.
About a minute after the video, thin-sea cows appeared to be looking for algae and plants on the rocks, next to the barren bottoms of seagrass, a typical manatee diet.
However, more than a decade ago, up to 90% of seagrass cover died here in some parts of the Indian River Lagoon, and has grown little since. Serious blue-green algae have choked the bottom grass, a major habitat for manatees, fish and other marine life.
Manatee status was unknown at the beginning of Friday, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and / or Seaworld crew usually value such animals and potentially rescue them at Seaworld’s Orlando facility. And evaluate rehabilitation. The video shows some other faint-looking manatees nearby.
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A pinic camping in a manatees hammock said he shot a video on June 21st and saw the same manatees again on Wednesday. The FWC came out to the campsite on Thursday, she said, but the manatees were already gone. “It was definitely the same thing,” Pinick said on Friday.
“They came out and looked for it, but it had already swam away,” Pinick said. “They will come right there and eat the algae on the rocks right there. It was the first time I personally saw something unhealthy.”
Manatees are dying at a record pace this year, with about 40% believed to be hungry. By June 25, at least 819 manatees had died in Florida in 2021. According to FWC statistics, a record 830 manatees died in 2013.
TCPalm’s Max Chesnes contributed to this story.
This article was originally published in Florida Today: Video: Florida’s hungry manatees struggle to find food