TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is urging Floridians and travelers to give mating manatees their space this spring and summer.
FWC said it’s common to see a manatee mating herd in shallow waters near the shore in the upcoming months.
“If you encounter a herd, it’s important to watch from a distance as these large, strong animals are focused on mating. Bystanders that get too close could be seriously injured,” the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Bystanders should not approach or assist the animals, as in most cases, the manatees are not stranded, hurt or in distress.
If you do have concerns about a mating herd or see a dead, injured or distressed manatee, call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.