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Wildlife agencies approve “experimental feeding” for starving manatees

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


Federal and state wildlife agencies have agreed to what they are describing as “experimental feeding” of starving manatees in the ailing Indian River Lagoon. 

The unprecedented measure is in response to a record die-off of the iconic sea cows this year in Florida. 

The feeding will take place near the Cape Canaveral power plant, a crucial warm water spot during the winter for manatees, which are sensitive to cold water. 

Pat Rose of the Save the Manatee Club says details still are in the works but that the manatees will be closely monitored. He says feeding manatees otherwise remains illegal. 

“It’s in response to really catastrophic losses of the seagrasses that really was totally preventable in our opinion. And it’s man-caused, and that’s why man really needs to intervene in this situation and get as many manatees through the winter as we possibly can.”  

More than 1,000 manatees have perished this year in Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the agency will make a formal announcement on this and other measures later this week. 


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »

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