VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Manatees are at risk when temperatures get low. It can lead to cold stress, which can be fatal.
Here's how a crew recently saved a manatee in Volusia Coutny suffering from cold stress:
1. Trap: A researcher with the Save the Manatee Club spotted “Trap” the manatee in bad shape at Blue Spring State Park. They called the FWC, which brought a crew from Sea World to come rescue it.
The researcher says the manatee was clearly suffering from cold stress.
“It looked really terrible,” said Cora Berchem, with Save the Manatee Club. “So we weren’t really even sure if he would make the trip to the manatee hospital.”
2. Water Temps: According to researchers, manatees are at risk of cold stress anytime the water temperature dips below 68 degrees.
3. Symptoms: Researchers hope manatee with cold stress will be spotted quickly.
“Things to look out for are white lesions on the body of the manatee, especially on the snout, the flippers and the tail. Also, manatees may look very thin, emaciated, they act a bit lethargic, they don’t swim around a whole lot, they may be resting more than usual,” Berchem said.
4. Deaths: So far, Berchem counted four manatee that have died from cold stress this winter.
5. What to do: If you spot a manatee you believe is suffering from cold stress, call the FWC Hotline at 1-888-404-3922.
Trap is now recovering from cold stress at Sea World. He will stay in a warm pool and be given antibiotics until he is ready to return to the river.