Environment

Second manatee found dead in Miami waters

A mother manatee and her calf found warm waters in Blue Springs State Park.
A mother manatee and her calf found warm waters in Blue Springs State Park. Orlando Sentinel

Another manatee was found dead in Miami waters for the second time this month.

Witnesses said the manatee found behind a condo in the 700 block of Northeast 63rd Street Monday had what appeared to be slashes from a boat propeller. But wildlife investigators who retrieved the carcass Monday night had not yet made a determination, said Frank McCloy, spokesman for the state’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

The death brings the number of manatees killed in Miami-Dade County this year to four. Manatees flock to Florida’s warm waters during the winter, typically congregating in big herds farther north near springs that provide a constant temperature. Miami draws fewer, but increased boat traffic makes them more vulnerable.

Earlier this month, a scarred manatee was found dead in Fisherman’s Channel between Fisher Island and Virginia Key a day after the start of a five-day boat show that drew 100,000 visitors. A necropsy found the manatee died of “acute watercraft trauma.” Critics of the boat show blamed increased traffic generated by the show. But the condition of the manatee prevented investigators from determining the size or kind of boat that caused the death, McCloy said.

Last year, 17 dead manatees were found in Miami-Dade County, compared with 504 statewide. Two were killed by boats.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich

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