What Killed “Ellie” the Manatee? Dauphin Island Sea Lab Trying to Figure That Out


Scientists with the Dauphin Islan Sea Lab’s Manatee Sighting Network are trying to figure out what caused the death of a large female manatee nicknamed “Ellie.”

A group of people fishing in Mobile Bay near the ship channel adjacent to the mouth of Dog River discovered “Ellie” over the weekend.

“Ellie” was the first manatee the DISL Manatee Sighting Network ever captured in Alabama back in 2009, and they have evidence showing she was at least 39 years old.

DISL researchers are waiting on test results to determine what exactly caused “Ellie’s” death.

“Warm season manatee mortality is unusual in Alabama waters,” explained DISL Senior Marine Scientist Ruth H. Carmichael.  “We have had only a few, and the causes of death have ranged from natural to watercraft-related injury.”

Charmichael says they’ve seen more manatees in the area than usual this year, and encourages boaters to be cognizant of that.

If you see a manatee or think a manatee is distressed or injured, please report your sighting as soon as possible to DISL/MSN (1-866-493-5803).

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