November 13, 2008

Manatee May Not Be Dead in N.C.

Wildlife authorities say reports that a manatee spotted swimming off the coast of Manteo, N.C., was found dead are "pretty much misinformation."

Nicole Adimey, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jacksonville, Fla., said the manatee, one of three recently spotted in North Carolina waters, has not been seen alive or dead since Nov. 2, despite reports that its corpse was found Sunday.

Manteo dock master Carl Jordan had said Tuesday he had been told the manatee was found dead in the Alligator River.

"I think that's pretty much misinformation. We have no carcass and no information on it, and nothing's been called into Wildlife Resources," Adimey said Wednesday. "An animal has not been sighted dead or alive since the 2nd of November."

Adimey said manatees are native to the waters of Florida and the Caribbean and only occasionally are spotted in North Carolina.