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Two orphaned calves ended up at a SeaWorld rehabilitation center, where they faced a long recovery. Photo by Amy Green
Environment

To save starving manatees, the wildlife agencies offered up food. But the manatees aren’t eating it


A record die-off of manatees in Florida has prompted an unprecedented effort to provide supplement food for the starving animals. But the manatees aren’t eating the food.  Some 1,100 manatees died last year in Florida, a staggering loss representing 12% of the animal’s population in the state. The most deaths were in the Indian River Lagoon, a critical manatee habitat where water quality problems and seagrass losses have left the animals starving. Fearing more deaths this winter, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in December began offering lettuce to the animals near a power plant in Cape Canaveral, where the cold-sensitive manatees gather during the cool months for warmth. So far the manatees …
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