COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – On Tuesday, residents at Port of the Islands in south Collier County found an unpleasant surprise after a dead manatee was found floating in the canal.

Dr. Durland Fish told NBC2 News that he noticed something floating in the water and decided to kayak toward it, but what he saw was shocking. As he inched further to the floating object, he noticed it was a body of a manatee with vultures eating at its flesh.

After witnessing the sight, Fish told NBC2 News that he contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but they didn’t come out at first. He said it wasn’t until a second neighbor called that the FWC came out on Wednesday morning.

Fish said manatee deaths have become more common recently. “[There have been] a couple other reports of dead manatees this year,” Fish told NBC2, “more so than any other year.”

But it’s not just Fish who has taken notice of the aquatic animals’ deaths. His neighbor Deborah Jansen shared that she’s also seen a decline in manatee behavior.

“Well, I have been here for just over 20 years have lived here, and when I moved here, manatees were common in these canals and in the inlets,” Jansen told NBC2, “and what has happened over the years has been a drastic decline in the number of manatees that have been seen.”

According to the NBC Affiliate, both Fish and Jansen believe the cause is due to reckless boaters in the manatee zones and new “ecotours” exploiting the manatees.