Alexa

Manatees paddle to warm water to escape chill

Manatees paddle to warm water to escape chill

People aren't the only ones in Florida who don't like cold weather.
Manatees _ those giant aquatic mammals with the flat, paddle-shaped tails _ are swimming out of the chilly Gulf of Mexico waters and into warmer springs and power plant discharge canals. On Tuesday, more than 300 manatees floated in the outflow of Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station.
Cold weather can weaken manatees' immune systems and eventually kill them. State officials said 2010 has been a deadly year for the beloved animals: between Jan. 1 and Dec. 17, 246 manatees died from so-called "cold stress." During the same time period in 2009, only 55 manatees died from the cold. In 2008, only 22 manatees succumbed to chilly temperatures.