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Amelia Islander

Save the Manatee Club Helps Injured Manatees

Apr 22, 2013 02:00AM
Save the Manatee is an organization which, since 1981, has been the voice for the humble sea cows. If you’re lucky enough to have spotted one, you’d see that they are gentle giants, closely related to the elephant. The adult males are 10 feet long and weigh 800 to 1,200 pounds.

Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas — particularly where sea grass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. Manatees are a migratory species. Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida in the winter. In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common. West Indian manatees can also be found in the coastal and inland waterways of Central America and along the northern coast of South America, although distribution in these areas may be discontinuous.

Save the Manatee Club handles reports from the public on injured manatees, and helps to facilitate rescues. SMC has also provided funds for equipment used in manatee rescue and rehabilitation efforts both in and outside of Florida, including nets, an isolation pool, a manatee care building, tracking gear, and diving equipment. The group helped fund a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project to help re-acclimate manatees to the wild and donated funds to help build a shelter for injured manatees awaiting transport in the Florida Keys. In addition, SMC has donated seven boats and trailers to various agencies and organizations for manatee rescue and research purposes.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit their web site at www.savethemanatee.org.