Two Baby Manatees Rescued in Keys

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TAVERNIER, Florida Keys (CBSMiami/FKNB) — Two baby manatees were rescued Sunday in the Florida Keys after their mother was discovered deceased.

Pat Clough, medical director at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, tends to twin baby manatees rescued Sunday, October 2, 2016, in Florida Bay off Tavernier, Fla. The manatees' mother was discovered deceased due to a possible boat strike and the four-month old babies had to be rescued for care and any chance of survival and potential release back into the wild. (Mary Stella/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Pat Clough, medical director at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, tends to twin baby manatees rescued Sunday, October 2, 2016, in Florida Bay off Tavernier, Fla. (Kara Pascucci/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

According to Mary Stella, a spokeswoman at the Keys-based Dolphin Research Center, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received word of the dead manatee on the bayside of Tavernier.

FWC asked Dolphin Research Center marine mammal experts to confirm the death. They found the dead manatee and realized it was known to reside in the area and had been nursing twin manatee calves born this past May.

Because they are not old enough to survive on their own, the baby manatees were rescued by Dolphin Research Center and FWC personnel. The male and female babies were then transported to the Miami Seaquarium for examination, rehabilitation and hopeful future release to the wild.

Stella said that the mother manatee likely died because of a boat strike. A necropsy is to be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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