Officials: Manatee stranded on North Carolina beach dies


An endangered manatee swims out of a sanctuary in the warm water springs known as Three Sisters on March 9, 2016 in Crystal River, Florida, where thousands of tourists swim with the sea cows every year.
Languid, whiskered and weighing as much as 1,200 pounds (545 kilograms), the bulbous Florida manatees — a subspecies of the West Indian manatees — were among the first creatures to be named by the United States as a federally endangered species in 1967, alongside the iconic bald eagle and American alligator.
(KERRY SHERIDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — A manatee found stranded on the North Carolina coast on Thursday has died, a wildlife official said.

The nearly 10-foot-long female was still alive when it was found by a woman walking the beach around sunrise near Kill Devil Hills. The incident was first reported by Outer Banks Today.

Karen Clark, education director at the N.C. Wildlife Commission’s Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, said volunteers and staff with the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responded and began consulting with partner agencies.

Arrangements were made for a box truck to take the manatee for possible treatment at a Florida facility, Clark said. A local motel donated a mattress.

There were no visible signs of trauma, but the manatee appeared to have been malnourished, Clark said. The remains will be taken to N.C. State University’s lab in Morehead City for a necropsy.

Usually associated with Florida and its warmer waters, sightings have become a more regular occurrence locally in the last few years. Clark said there had been no recent sightings around the Outer Banks, but a group of manatees had been spotted a few weeks ago in the Intracoastal Waterway near Morehead City.

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