Tuesday, November 14, 2006

THIS IS NOT A HAPPY STORY

IDIOTS ABOUND, you are not going to believe this one, not for the squeamish. I am giving my manatees an extra hug today.
From the Miami Herald, November 12, 2006,http://www.Miami. com/mld/miamiher ald/news/ local/15991942. htmBISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK -- Rangers investigate manatee mutilationBy ELIAS E. LOPEZ (elopez@MiamiHerald. com)

Authorities are asking the public for assistance in finding the person orpersons guilty of mutilating a manatee, found dead off the shore of Biscayne National Park on Friday.

National Park Service officials responded Fridaymorning to a boater's report of a dead manatee floating in the bay near thepark located at 9700 SW 328 St. in Homestead.

NPS officers say the suspectsprobably captured the animal -- six feet long, between 500 and 600 pounds --either late Thursday or early Friday before slashing its throat and cuttingoff its fins. ''It's pretty disgraceful that a manatee was treated thatway,'' NPS officer Brian Fields said. ``They're protected and to see thathappening, it's really disturbing.' '

The investigation into the mutilation continues, but if officials find thatthe incident occurred as a result of human abuse, NPS officials say thiswould be one of the worst cases they have ever seen. ''This is the firsttime I've seen this with manatees. Usually they get slashed by boats,'' saidFields, a law enforcement park ranger. He added that those responsiblecould face one year in federal prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

The FloridaFish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be conducting a necropsy onthe mammal on Monday to determine the cause of death. The manatee, long theposter mammal of the environmental movement in Florida, is listed as athreatened species. The docile sea cows face several threats, includingdeaths from boat strikes, red tide and habitat loss.The National Park Service is asking anyone with information to call305-230-1144, ext. 3067.

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