Record Breaking Number Of Manatees Have Died In Florida In 2013

A record number of manatees have died in Florida in 2013 and the body count continues to climb with two more months left in the year.

The death toll reached a staggering 769 just a few days from November, Florida's Manatee Awareness Month -- that's an average of two manatee deaths per day over the last ten months.

What's worse, 126 of those were calves, reports Save The Manatee Club, an organization cofounded by Jimmy Buffet that works to protect the endangered species.

The high death count, which is already double that of last year, is attributed to a sudden bloom of toxic red algae and a "mass murder mystery" in Indian River Lagoon where 47,000 acres of sea grass and 111 manatees died.

"What we put into our waters, how much we pump from our aquifer and draw from our springs and rivers, together with how we use our waterways, all has an impact on our own lives and the lives of every aquatic species," Patrick Rose, an aquatic biologist and the Executive Director of Save The Manatee Club, said in a release.

Meanwhile Gov. Rick Scott (R) rejected funding to research the mass animal deaths at Indian River Lagoon, explaining “While some water projects may also contribute to a statewide objective, not all projects demonstrate an ability to contribute to a statewide investment.”

The two events are on top of existing threats to manatees such as boat motor injuries and cold exposure.

See below for some of the manatees available for adoption through the Club, many of whom bare the scars of a hard life lived in Florida waterways:



Save the Manatee Club Adoptees