BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – An orphaned manatee calf was transported to SeaWorld for care after it was found at the Cape Canaveral Clean Energy Center in Brevard County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Experts suspect the manatee’s mother died as part of the “ongoing UME (unusual mortality event),” in which many manatees are starving to death due to a massive die-off of seagrass which the animals eat, according to FWC.
At least 1,056 manatees have died in 2021, according to the latest numbers from FWC.
“Our manatee biologists work hard to respond to reports of distressed manatees and rescue manatees that need assistance. Our teams are continuing to monitor and respond to manatees as they look for signs of starvation and cold stress,” the agency said in a Facebook post.
Earlier this month, federal regulators signed off on an experimental feeding program.
The FWC just asked the state for an additional $8 million, but that won’t be considered until the legislative session in January.
Manatee conservationists have said feeding them will require thousands of pounds of food for the researchers.
If you see a sick or injured manatee, you can report it by dialing #FWC on your cell phone.