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Cold-stressed manatee? Sea cow rescued in Brevard

A sea cow was rescued in Brevard Friday after it suffered from cold stress.

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  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers rescued a cold-stressed manatee from Melbourne’s Crane Creek on Thursday.
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  • On Thursday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers responded to a report of a manatee in distress in Melbourne’s Crane Creek.

Although cold weather has briefly hit Central Florida, the waterways are still cold enough to cause problems for manatees.

@BN9: A sea cow was rescued in Brevard Friday after it suffered from cold stress.

Although cold weather has briefly hit Central Florida, the waterways are still cold enough to cause problems for manatees.

On Thursday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers responded to a report of a manatee in distress in Melbourne’s Crane Creek.

It turns out, 1,300-pound adult sea cow was suffering from cold stress.

“Generally 68 degrees and below is where they start to react poorly,” said Bill Greer of the FWC.

Greer said the water temperature at the time was 63 degrees, and the manatee was showing telltale signs such as white legions on its skin and a white ring around its tail.

The prolonged cold exposure could eventually shut down the aquatic animal’s digestive tract and cause it to become dehydrated as well. When it’s cold for several days at a time, manatees tend to huddle together in canals and near power plant waters to stay warm.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers rescued a cold-stressed manatee from Melbourne’s Crane Creek on Thursday. (FWC)

“They are definitely coming in, warming up a bit, then going about their normal activities,” Greer said.

Even though this recent chilly weather isn’t expected to last long, it’s possible more of them could be affected, FWC said.

Ryan Wingard and his kids are visiting family in Brevard County, and seeing a manatee for the first time. They enjoyed seeing a lone manatee floating in the warmer waters of Satellite Beach’s Desoto Canal. Being from the Pittsburgh area, he learned that they, too, can be affected by the cold and understands why manatees want to go where it’s warmer.

“It think that’s why we came down here,” Wingard said.

FWC urges people seeing a sick or injured manatee to call their hotline: 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC.

Cold-stressed manatee? Sea cow rescued in Brevard

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