Colder temperatures keeping manatees away from where the food is, environmentalist says

Manatees typically gather toward warmer water, but with temperatures in the 50s across Central Florida, environmentalists say they are staying far away from where the food is and as a result, starving.

"I really believe that we have become numb to this. I think that it is being normalized that now dead manatees have become a part of our daily life. People feel like they can’t do anything anyway. So, it is a discussion, but we need to take action," environmentalist Stel Bailey said. "It is devastating for me to see these manatees in the situation that they are in."

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Bailey has been out every day near the Indian River Lagoon for a year watching the manatees.

"I took part in helping push for the unusual mortality event because of what I was witnessing, not only as an environmental health advocate but as a community member where this is in my backyard," Bailey said. 

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The Save The Manatees Executive Director Patrick Rose says he blames the manatee die-off on a toxic, polluted lagoon, and as a result, a lack of seagrass for the manatees.

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