SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - WLOX News has just learned what killed two manatees that washed up on the shores of South Mississippi in December. Institute for Marine Mammal Studies President Moby Solangi said results from the necropsy of the two manatees show they both died from cold temperatures.
Solangi said tissues were taken from both animals for further testing, but due to their advanced stages of decomposition, it could be difficult to gather any further information.
The first manatee carcass washed up near the IMMS in Gulfport on Dec. 12. The second washed ashore nearly two weeks later in Waveland.
Solangi said the presence of the manatees in South Mississippi waters is a rare occurrence, because the mammals usually migrate to warmer waters in Florida during the winter months.
According to the Save the Manatee Club, "Manatees can be found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays, canals, and coastal areas — particularly where seagrass beds or freshwater vegetation flourish. Manatees are a migratory species. Within the United States, they are concentrated in Florida in the winter. In summer months, they can be found as far west as Texas and as far north as Massachusetts, but summer sightings in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are more common."
Manatees are an endangered species.