Featured Image Credit: Sea to Shore Alliance
By Sarah Sharkey
Leesburg, a manatee first spotted in 2015, has surprised everyone by simply surviving this harsh winter. She did not survive it alone either, she has been raising her newborn calf throughout this rough season for manatees.
Florida manatees are dying from cold water temperatures and algae blooms around the state. Each year, the number of manatee deaths increases. Researchers expect the young, old and sick manatees to die from these elements, but Leesburg and her baby have beat the odds and survived the winter.
Leesburg is recognized by here boat propeller scar that has marked her back. She was also one of the first manatees ever recorded in the Harris Chain of Lakes. Since then, she has been through quite a lot. After her first sighting, she was given a GPS tracking device, lost her male companion been hit by a boat propeller, had an alligator snap her GPS deceive off, and had a baby.
It has been quite a wild ride for Leesburg, but it is hoped she will continue to prosper in the face of all the adversity that is facing the manatee population today. Along with many other animals across the plant, they have started to face the consequences of climate change. Only time will tell how they will fare.
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