SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee mating season is officially in full swing in the Sarasota area.
Herds of manatees have already been sighted around Sarasota’s beaches and inshore waters. If you happen to see a large group of 20 or more manatees gathering in shallow water or along beaches thrashing around, they aren’t hurt or in danger. They are just trying to mate, according to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
Boaters and beachgoers are advised to stay a good distance away from these threatened species and to not approach them.
If you have any concerns or possible manatee sightings, please reach out to the Mote’s Manatee Research Program at (941) 388-4441, ext. 379. Make sure to note the location of the manatees and time of the sighting.
If you find any sick, injured or dead manatees, please reach out to the Mote’s Stranding Investigations program at (941) 988-0212 or the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at (888) 404-3922.