The manatee is a sort of Florida symbol - their squished noses and doughy bodies are just objectively one of the cutest things in our waters.
But this year boats have killed a record number of the sea cows, 98 in total. This beats the previous record set in 2009 when 97 were killed.
In total, 472 manatees have died in 2016, far fewer than the 830 in 2013, many from natural causes. The nature of 139 deaths is undetermined.
The overall number of manatees—roughly 6,300—is the highest since the first survey of manatees in 1991, when just 1,267 were counted. The native species was first listed as an endangered species in 1966, but in January 2016, with growing population numbers, the manatee was downgraded to “threatened.”
Over the past year, five manatees have been killed in Monroe County, three manatees in Miami-Dade County, four in Broward and four in Palm Beach.