Monday, August 3, 2015

A Manatee Visits the Delaware River

Many New Jerseyeans journey to Florida in the colder months, but it is unusual for endangered manatees to visit us in NJ during the summer. But last week, one did decide to visit the Garden State area.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed that they spotted the large marine mammal last Tuesday near the I-295 bridge and Crosswicks Creek in Bordentown City.

Manatees are also known as sea cows and generally stay in Florida’s coastal waters. They are herbivores and eat a primary diet of sea grass and aquatic vegetation. They can grow up to 13-feet long and weigh in at 1300 pounds. The one spotted was about 7 feet long.

The manatee did not seem to be in distress. The last and possibly only other spotting in NJ waters was in 2009 in Linden and that manatee needed to be rescued. Our current tourist manatee will most likely feed and then leave on its own. The greatest danger to manatees comes from boat traffic.

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