Experts want manatee wandering along coast of Cape Cod to head back home

Experts want manatee wandering along coast of Cape Cod to head back home

It’s been a month now that a massive manatee could be seen wandering along the coast of Cape Cod. Experts said that it is the high time now that this 1,500 pound animal should move back to its home as they have low tolerance for cold water.

Things will become difficult for the eight-foot long animal as the temperature is changing due to fall. Manatees are known sea cows because of their size and docility. Currently listed on the endangered species list, the species can be commonly found off the coast of Florida and the southeastern United States.

Its population has recovered in Florida due to which it has been suggested that its status should be downgraded to ‘threatened’. Generally, manatees migrate from the coast of Brazil to the mid-Atlantic seacoast.
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Though manatees have massive size, they cannot tolerate water colder than 68 degrees F. If they remain exposed to colder temperatures then it might make manatees to stop feeding and they could even die.

For now, scientists do not exactly know as to why more number of manatees is being found in farther north. One possibility is that they simple like to roam. If efforts are being made to redirect them to their place then they have not always turned well.

Save the Manatees, a charity devoted to manatee protection, has warned that the manatees are not safe in water outside their migration zones, like Cape Cod. One of the reasons for the same is that these areas do not have needed policies to protect them from many risk factors like boat strikes and fishing bycatch. Authorities concerned have warned Cape Cod boaters to maintain distance from the manatees.

According to a report in Nature World News by
Monica Antonio, "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."

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 a small amount of body fat to trap heat.

“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.

A report published in CS Monitor informed, "Beachgoers on Cape Cod in August enjoyed a special treat as a massive manatee meandered along the coast. Now, experts say it is time for the eight-foot, 1,500-pound animal to go home."

“When we start to get into the cooler weather, which is not that far away for you folks,” the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chuck Underwood told The Boston Globe, “that’s where we begin getting really concerned.”

Cape Cod’s current visitor has been in the neighborhood for about a month. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average water temperature for Wood’s Hole, Mass., (on the Cape Cod coast) in the second half of August is 71 degrees F. The current water temperature is around 75 degrees F., an unseasonably warm measurement.


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