SuperTalk Mississippi

Dead Manatee Washes Ashore, Could Be Signs of Widespread Ecological Problems

WAVELAND, Miss. – For this second time this month a dead manatee as washed up on the shores of South Mississippi. The endangered sea mammal was discovered Christmas day. According to Moby Solangi, director for the Institute of Marie Mammal Studies, manatees are not supposed to be this far north this time of the year.

“It is very unusual, it doesn’t happen every year. It is something we are trying to investigate. First of all, they shouldn’t be here. This is not their stomping ground, especially in the winter time. The temperatures are cold and the food is scarce for them,” said Solangi.

Currently both manatees have been sent to a U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries office in Alabama for autopsy.

Solangi believes a widespread ecological problem may have been a factor in the manatee’s death.

“There has been a change in the environment, there has been flooding, there has been unusual temperatures, we’ve had oil spills. A variety of things have been going on, especially in Mississippi. For example, we have had oyster reefs decimated, the blue crab fishery has gone down, the red fish fishery has gone down. There are a lot of things going on ecologically. All of these animals are a part of the chain of the ecosystem. We’ve had dolphins dying and turtles dying. We have to be looking at the overall picture, especially when enraged and threatened species start getting effected.”

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