Florida Manatee Deaths Are Up In 2020. With Pandemic, Reasons Unclear

“At least 388 manatees have died in Florida this year, slightly more than average, but in about a third of those cases, scientists did not recover the body to figure out the cause.

Blame the coronavirus pandemic.

In April and May, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suspended necropsies — the process of examining a dead manatee to determine why it died. Spokeswoman Michelle Kerr said the agency was being cautious to stop the spread of coronavirus, keeping staff distanced when possible.”

Zachary T. Sampson reports for the Tampa Bay Times August 6, 2020.