MIAMI (AP) — As manatees begin their annual migration to warmer waters, state wildlife officials are cautioning boaters to slow down and watch out for these slow-moving mammals.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement Friday that the migration is the animals' instinctual response to winter's approach.
The commission says boaters can help protect the species often found feeding in shallow sea grass beds by slowing down and following posted speed zones across the state. Many season manatee protection zones go into effect Nov. 15.
November is also Manatee Awareness Month and the manatee is Florida's official state marine mammal.
The FWC asks residents and visitors to report sick, injured, entangled or dead manatees to wildlife officials.