Manatee feeding experiment starts slowly as cold looms
By CURT ANDERSON
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – An unprecedented, experimental attempt to feed manatees facing starvation in Florida has started slowly but wildlife officials expressed optimism it will work as cold weather drives the marine mammals toward warmer waters.
Officials said Thursday that a feeding station established along the state’s east coast has yet to entice manatees with romaine lettuce even though the animals will eat it in captivity.
Water pollution from agricultural, urban and other sources has decimated seagrass beds on which manatees depend, leading to a record 1,101 manatee deaths largely from starvation in 2021. The typical five-year average is about 625 deaths.
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1/13/2022 11:35:05 AM (GMT -6:00)