VIDEO/PHOTOS UPDATE: Ailing manatee dies after being recovered in Marco canal

The animal, of unidentified sex, was about six foot long, and was drifting aimlessly in a canal

Photo with no caption

Photo by QUENTIN ROUX, Staff

Photo with no caption

Photo by QUENTIN ROUX, Staff

Dramatic manatee recovery

The animal had been drifting aimlessly all ...

Officers and biologists from the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission recovered a sick or unnaturally cold manatee Friday afternoon after receiving reports it had been drifting in a canal between Redwood and Butterfly Courts on Marco Island.

It later died of what FWC Media Relations Coordinator Carli Segelson described as manatee cold stress syndrome.

Around 5 p.m. a team of FWC personnel arrived in a boat, and snagged the manatee gently in a net before dragging it aboard.

From there, it was taken to the new 951 boat ramp, and from there transported towards St. Petersburg, Fl. in a vehicle.

Chronic exposure to cold water — as has happened in Florida over the past six weeks — is said to produce a cascade of clinical signs and disease processes termed the manatee cold stress syndrome.

FWC records reflect that by Feb. 12 this year, 167 manatees have died from the affliction.

The figure may be higher, because of decomposition thwarting diagnoses, plus the inability to recover about 50 more of the animals for testing.

In 2009, 388 manatee deaths were reported statewide. In just six weeks this year, the total has reached 301, according to the FWC.

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