MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — It’s manatee season across Florida, a time when boaters are supposed to slow down for the gentle sea giants, but some folks just aren’t following the rules which led to deadly results.
Florida boaters broke a record this year, killing more manatees in 2019 than in past years, according to wildlife officials.READ MORE: Florida Power & Light Topples Last Coal Chimney
Boaters hit and killed 129 manatees so far this year. That tops the previous record of 125 deaths last year. The five year average was 95 boat-related manatee deaths, according to preliminary data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The leading cause of death last year for manatees was natural causes, which killed 230.READ MORE: Two Shark Bites Off North Florida Beach
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports 53 manatees died from cold weather this year.
Boating advocates have pushed back against go-slow speed zones, arguing the reason more are dying may be because there isn’t enough seagrass to feed them.MORE NEWS: 2-Year-Old Orlando Boy Hospitalized After Swallowing 16 Magnetic Balls
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)