Florida manatees get 3,000 pounds of lettuce a day from wildlife officials

CNN – Florida manatees, which are dying at an alarming rate, largely from starvation, are being treated with tons of lettuce each week as part of a new feeding program that state wildlife officials say showing signs of success.

Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) say an average of 350 manatees a day are being distributed at a temporary field response station in Cape Canaveral, along the east coast. east of Florida.

The program was launched earlier this year as officials worked to address the unusual death of manatees along the state’s Atlantic coast. More than 1,000 manatees died in the state last year – the highest number of manatee deaths recorded in decades.

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State wildlife officials, along with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and in collaboration with Florida Power & Light, set up temporary feeding grounds at the company’s Cape Canaveral Clean Energy Center in Brevard County, CNN reported.

“The energy hub is located north of the Indus Lagoon and is an important stopping point where manatees congregate as they migrate south during the winter,” Florida Power & Light wrote in a blog post. New information is posted.

Officials say they’ve increased the amount of food they’re distributing to about 20,000 pounds of plants a week — mostly romaine lettuce and avocados.

“At this point, we have succeeded. Manatees eat ponies,” said FWC’s Ron Mezich. “We’re exposing large numbers of animals to this food source, and we’re making a difference.”

RELATED STORY: Manatee Breeding Program Ready As Winter Tests Survival

The feeding program is expected to continue through March, according to Mezich.

Although officials have had some success, they have also noticed an increased mortality rate, possibly a combination of the stress the animals are under due to lack of food and cold temperatures. price, said Tom Reinert, a spokesman for the committee.

So far this year, 261 manatees have died in Florida, according to FWC via CNN.

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https://nbc-2.com/news/state/2022/02/17/florida-manatees-receive-3000-pounds-of-lettuce-a-day-from-wildlife-officials/ Florida manatees get 3,000 pounds of lettuce a day from wildlife officials

Tom Vazquez

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