Pinellas County places second in the state in manatee deaths
More manatees have died in Southwest Florida so far this year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found Pinellas County is second in the state in sea cow deaths with 36.
More manatees have died in Southwest Florida so far this year than anywhere else in the state, a title nobody wants that the region has taken from the Indian River Lagoon area on the East Coast.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released manatee mortality data for the first half of the year showing Lee County leads the state in sea cow deaths with 87.
A majority of the manatees that died in Lee County were not tested after their deaths to determine why. Of those that were, 13 perished while still very young, 11 died due to natural causes, and four were hit and killed by boats.
Pinellas County, which is home to St. Petersburg and Clearwater, is a distant second with 36 manatee deaths so far.
The region from Sarasota south to Collier counties accounted for 149 of the 345 manatees that have died statewide through the end of June.
The state fish and wildlife agency did not give a reason for why manatees have been dying in Southwest Florida waters in wildly increasing numbers so far this year.
One clue may be found in the reason why there are fewer manatee deaths on the East Coast.