Manatee Crueltee

Elizabeth Flatley

Manatees, the gentle fresh and saltwater mammals, are a blessing to our world. The kind sea cows are usually found in slow moving rivers, estuaries, canals, salt water bays, and coastal areas where vegetation is particularly thriving. In the United States, these huggable sea cows have a migration pattern. In the winter seasons they can be found heavily concentrated in Florida while in the warmer months, can be found all the way to Texas. West Indian manatees have no natural predators; they can live up to 60 years old. As these animals get older, along with most other species that have longer life spans can usually die from natural causes such as diseases, pneumonia, and cold stress.

Manatees’ primary threat are humans. The most common way they die is from motorboat accidents because of careless human actions. More  common ways for manatee death by humans include being drowned or crushed in canal locks, litter, monofilament line, ingestion of fish hooks, and entanglement in crab traps. In the end manatees are ultimately decimated by a loss of habitat which proves the largest threat to them. As of February/January 2019, there were around 5,733 as of a minimum population count. With the rapid loss of manatees their slow reproduction rate does not help. Manatees are only fully ready to reproduce at around age five while the gestation period tends to take up around a year. A lot of people take advantage of their kind nature and see it as an opportunity to abuse and hurt them. On January 11 of 2021, a viral picture someone took of a manatee showed a manatee with engravings of “TRUMP” on the side of it. Harassing a manatee in different states causes different acts of punishments but in Florida, hurting a manatee can result in fines of up to $100,000.