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FWC To Public: Manatees Not In Distress; They're Just Mating

A manatee mating herd at Coquina Beach in Manatee County
FWC Screenshot

Florida wildlife officials say they’ve received many calls of manatees in distress all over the state. But, officials say a lot of times, the sea cows are just mating.

If anyone sees a manatee that’s in distress, injured, or dead, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission prefers the public call its Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

But, the FWC says the hotline has received a lot of calls about groups of manatees that may be in distress—at times quite close to the shore.

Wildlife officials say that usually means they’re either migrating, mating, or having babies AND the sea cows usually do that in large herds. Mating also occurs in deep or shallow waters.

So, the FWC is asking the public to keep their distance around the manatees and observe them from a safe distance, especially when they mate. Officials say when they’re focused on mating, bystanders getting too close could get seriously injured.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.