Two baby manatees were rescued Sunday in the Florida Keys after their mother was discovered deceased.
According to Mary Stella, a spokeswoman at the Keys-based Dolphin Research Center, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received word of the dead manatee on the bayside of Tavernier.
FWC asked Dolphin Research Center marine mammal experts to confirm the death. They found the dead manatee and realized it was known to reside in the area and had been nursing twin manatee calves born this past May.
Because they are not old enough to survive on their own, the baby manatees were rescued by Dolphin Research Center and FWC personnel. The male and female babies were then transported to the Miami Seaquarium for examination, rehabilitation and hopeful future release to the wild.
Stella said that the mother manatee likely died because of a boat strike. A necropsy is to be performed to determine the exact cause of death.