Watch: Manatees take to supplemental feeding

After a slow start, efforts to feed Florida manatees in the wild to protect them from starvation in the winter are showing some success. About three dozen manatees (Trichechus manatus) have been seen eating lettuce that wildlife officials put out at feeding centers in the Indian River Lagoon, where manatees winter, taking advantage of warm outflow waters from a power plant near Cape Canaveral. Local rescue centers have been overwhelmed with starving manatees. Some struggling manatees are being sent as far as the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio for care. Biologists say the pollution has resulted in a lack of forage for the mammals. Over 1,000 manatees died last year, mostly from starvation.

Read more form the Washington Post. To catch a glimpse of the manatees feeding, watch the video below.

Header Image: Florida manatees have begun eating lettuce that biologists have placed in feeding stations to help them survive the winter. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission