A manatee was found dead in Colgate Creek in Baltimore County, Maryland last week, the Department of Natural Resources said.
This was only the third case of a deceased manatee in Maryland.
“With cooling weather, current Maryland water temperatures are well below a manatee’s minimum survival temperature,” said Natural Resources State Fish and Wildlife Veterinarian Cindy P. Driscoll. “We are still analyzing samples taken during the necropsy examination, which will be analyzed over the next few weeks. Until that time the cause of death remains undetermined.”
The 9-foot, 800-pound animal was examined by a team of biologists and veterinarians at the Smithsonian Institution, the DNR said.
The DNR reminds state residents to report any sightings of uncommon marine mammals and wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles or whales by calling 800-628-9944.
Manatees are aquatic mammals commonly found in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina but in recent years have been found in waters ranging from Massachusetts to Texas, including Maryland.
The first live Maryland manatee was documented in 1994 along the Upper Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. “Chessie” was captured in Queenstown and taken to Florida for release a few days later. Since that time, manatees have been reported throughout the Chesapeake Bay each summer. Approximately 6,000 manatees are thought to exist in the U.S.