A manatee has been seen near the coast of Cape Cod, an unusual location for the wild creature. The wildlife experts are worried because the manatee should have been long gone once the seasons changed.
The Late Manatee
The manatee was last seen by a father and son went fishing. They had been amazed to see its size and its interesting behavior. The animal did not appear to be feeding on sea grass. On the contrary, it just went up and down the water surface, most probably because the mammal wanted to take sunbathing.
Another report was made by a person that spotted the manatee in Chatham, and the animal was also seen near the island of Nantucket.
Before that, the mammal had been seen half-dozen times. The scientists believe that the marine creature came from Florida.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare sent a team to verify the situation and to monitor the activity of the manatee. The mammal did not show signs of distress or trauma. It seemed that it liked its new home.
However, the experts are worried what will happen with the manatee, as the mammal cannot resist for long in waters that have a temperature below 68 degrees.
The animal is believed to have swum to the East Coast because of the local vegetation. It has a length of almost eight feet, being easy to spot.
The manatees are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. This year, the federal officials wanted to change the status of the species from endangered to threaten.
The animal is supposed to continue his journey to the south in search of warm waters. In case the manatee decides to stay in the Cape Cod area, the cold temperatures may get it killed.
The Changing Behavior of the Manatees
The situation happened before. In 2008, a manatee that received the name Dennis extended his stay in the cold waters of Cape Cod and subsequently died. In 2009, a sea cow dubbed Ilya remained in New Jersey up to October. The US Coast Guard had to move it back to Florida.
The wildlife experts explain that the mammals are very sensitive to cold, and they shut down very quickly when exposed to low-temperature water.
The manatees have already been known to travel as far as Massachusetts. The scientists do not know if the changed behavior is to blame on climate change, but over the last years the number of manatees that chose to linger on after the summer is gone increased.
The experts advise the public to report each sighting and to give the manatee some space.
Image Source: Wikipedia