Monday, January 23 2012 @ 10:48 PM EST
Contributed by: Admin
If you are a fan of the outdoors and also Florida's numerous springs and rivers, you may have seen or encountered a manatee. Manatees, or Sea Cows, as they are often called, can usually be found in Florida's shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, canals, saltwater bays and coastal areas. They are usually prevalent in seagrass beds or where freshwater vegetation flourishes. **Despite having no natural enemies, and a expected life span of 60 years or more, the statewide mortality rate for the manatee is still high. While it is normal that a certain percentage of manatee deaths occur yearly as a result of either cold stress, pneumonia, gastrointestinal or other diseases, the number of additional fatalities are from human-related causes is too high. In spite of the protection afforded the West Indian Manatee by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978, the number of unnecessary manatee deaths continues to climb.