September 14, 2009

Mass. town visited by second manatee

Officials in Dennis, Mass., said a Florida manatee has been spotted at Sesuit Harbor for the second consecutive year.

Harbor Master Terry Clen said he learned Saturday that a male manatee was seen in the same harbor that was visited by a manatee last year, the Cape Cod (Mass.) Times reported Monday.

Clen said the manatee last year, dubbed Dennis the Manatee by residents, died during a rescue attempt Oct. 12 after it remained in the harbor too long and began to show signs of life-threatening cold stress. He said officials are taking steps to protect Dennis the Manatee II from the fate that befell his predecessor, including banning locals from feeding the mammal in the hopes that he'll head back south in search of food.

Dennis natural resource officer Paul Wightman said the manatee is estimated to weigh 1,000 pounds, far more than Dennis I.

It looks very healthy, Wightman said. The hope is that it will leave on its own.