Mysterious Syndrome Is Killing Some Florida Manatees

Jul 17, 2016

Manatees are again dying from a mysterious syndrome in Florida's Indian River Lagoon.

Florida Today reported Saturday that at least nine manatees have died since May. The syndrome first appeared in 2012 and is tied to them eating stringy seaweed instead of their usual diet of seagrass, which has been dying off because of microalgae blooms.

Researchers are stumped because the majority of manatees that eat the seaweed don't seem to be affected by it.

Martine deWit of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said the suspicion is that something about the change in diet makes some manatees susceptible to complications.

Since 2012, more than 100 manatees have died in the Melbourne area because of the syndrome.