TAMPA (FOX 13) - It’s usually a sight to see when manatees are spotted, but if you don’t see them eventually submerging, it could mean they are injured.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission shared video showing a manatee floating high in the water.
“Excessively buoyant manatees are often suffering from pneumothorax (excess air in its lung cavity), which can occur after being struck by a vessel,” they wrote in their Facebook page. “This life-threatening condition decreases swimming ability, prevents the manatee from submerging properly and the manatee's ability to feed.”
Wildlife officials are asking boaters to be mindful and lookout for manatees while traveling in coastal and inland waters.
If you accidentally hit a manatee while boating, you are asked to immediately contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922, then press 7. They said early rescue effort could save the manatee’s life.