The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently confirmed that a deceased manatee was found near Baltimore Maryland. DNR located the manatee in Dundalk after receiving a call from a citizen who reported the apparent death of the animal.
The deceased manatee was subsequently recovered and examined by an interagency team of biologists and veterinarians at the Smithsonian Institution. This was only the third case of a deceased manatee in Maryland, according to DNR.
“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.”
Manatees are aquatic mammals commonly found in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In recent years, manatees 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.
DNR reminds state residents to report any sightings of uncommon marine mammals and wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles or whales. The public can report sightings and strandings anytime to 800-628-9944.
The DNR Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Program has recorded over 1,000 strandings since 1990. Staff biologists respond to dead stranded marine animals and assist other organizations in live animal response both in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources