South Florida Sun Sentinel
6:35 AM EDT, April 3, 2009
POMPANO BEACH - A sick, young manatee that was being sought by state biologists because it was showing signs of distress has died, according to local television reports.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission made a public appeal Thursday for help in locating the manatee that appeared to be emaciated, lethargic and thought to be suffering from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
Biologists had last seen the animal Monday night in a canal near the intersection of McNab Road and Southwest 6th Avenue.
Some people who live in condos near Southwest 5th Avenue and McNab Road spotted the sick mammal on Thursday afternoon, and rescuers were eventually able to get it aboard a small boat.
But the young manatee died.
Florida wildlife biologist Christy Hudak told CBS 4 the weak animal may have succumbed to the stress of the rescue, along with the deep gash on its back that was likely caused by a strike from a boat propeller.
"Right here, along this propeller wound is what we believe may be the cause of death," Hudak told the station.
According to CBS 4, this puts the South Florida manatee death count at a record 43 this year.
Last year, 38 died during the entire year.