Featured Image Credit: Flickr
By Sarah Sharkey
Manatees, we all love them. They are cute, pudgy, curious and harmless. There is a big concern about manatees off the South Carolina coast though. It is a concern for the well being of the manatees. These “sea cows” are big animals with low maneuverability, which makes boat strikes a huge problem for them.
Unfortunately, it has come to the attention of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) that manatees in the Charleston area are in danger. Humans are chronically feeding and watering manatees, which may not sound like a problem but it is a big one.
Activities such as feeding and watering the manatees help manatees become comfortable with humans and boats; being comfortable with boats make manatees more susceptible to boat strikes and other human related injuries.
People water these sea cows by providing fresh water via a hose off the back of their boat or docks. Not only does this put the animals in danger, but also it is illegal to feed or water a manatee.
Although the current number of manatees in South Carolina is unknown, wildlife officials believe there are about 6,000 manatees in U.S. waters. These animals are protected which makes it illegal to feed, water, touch, hunt or harass a manatee.
Learn more from our source.