Manatee Spotted Off Cape Cod Could be in Danger as Fall Arrives
For weeks, a massive manatee was spotted hanging out in Cape waters. However, as cooler temperatures arrive in fall, wildlife experts say that Cape Cod's strange visitor might be in danger.
According to CapeCod.com, the manatee was spotted in the area since mid-August. Sightings of the animal include Oyster Pond in Chatham and Dowses Beach in Osterville, as confirmed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The said manatee is eight feet long and weighs about 1,500 pounds. Manatees or sea cows are common in southern waters such as the coast of Florida and southeastern U.S.
CS Monitor notes that spotting a manatee in the Cape Cod area is actually a rare occurrence. This is only the third manatee sighting in the area since 2008, and experts are unsure why these sea creatures are swimming farther north.
Experts warn that the manatee visitor in Cape Cod may be in danger as cooler waters come in. Manatees could not survive in temperatures colder than 68 degrees F as they have small amounts of body fat to trap heat.
Also, exposure to lower temperature than what their body could take may result to the inability of these animals to feed, resulting to death.
“We’re hoping, best case, that this animal starts to head south on its own and make its way back to warmer water in good time. But if it does stay in the area and water temperatures start to change there are a number of options, which of which could potentially be a capture," said Jane Hoppe, Assistant Stranding Coordinator for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
As of the moment, boaters in Cape Cod are advised to keep an eye on the manatee and steer clear of it while in the water. The US Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct a rescue operation on the animal soon.