Another heartbreaking video of a dead manatee, but it’s not what some people think

Another jarring video of a dead manatee on Florida’s west coast has surfaced on social media as red tide and blue-green algae continue to plague the area.

The disturbing images, taken near the Cape Coral Yacht Club, show a female manatee tied to a dock with a smaller manatee clinging to it. In some videos, other manatees can be seen hanging out nearby.

But this is not a baby manatee desperately trying to stay with its dead mother.

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As unpleasant as it may be, the smaller manatee is trying to mate with the dead one, which is tethered to the dock so that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can pick it up to perform a necropsy.

FWC veterinarian Martina deWit confirmed this morning that the video was of a mating attempt.

“It is not uncommon for male manatees to do this, as the female still has an attractive scent to them, even after she has passed away,” deWit said.

Just because it’s not a baby and a mother, doesn’t mean it’s not a terrible sight to see a dead manatee.

Wildlife on the west coast is suffering with fish kills in the thousands, a dead whale shark on Sanibel and dead manatees.

This year, 484 manatees have died in Florida through July 20.

That’s the highest number for this time of year since 2013 when 694 manatees died through mid-July. By the end of 2013, more than 800 manatees were dead, topping the previous record of 766 set in 2010 during a lengthy cold snap.

Just eight of the deaths were in Palm Beach County, with half related to boats or other human interactions. By far the highest number if manatee deaths were in Lee County where 109 died, 52 of which were ruled natural. Red tide-related deaths are categorized as natural.

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Of the deaths this year, 29 were red tide-related with another 51 suspected to be from red tide.

“The worst we’ve had so far for red tide was 2013,” de Wit said. “Right now, the numbers are above baseline, and what is unusual, is it’s lasted through the summer.”

Screenshot from video taken in Cape Coral on Tuesday of deceased manatee tied to a dock so Florida Fish and Wildlife could pick it up for a necropsy.