Mystery Manatee ID'd in Bay

Manatee spotted over the weekend

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. -- A mystery manatee has been identified in the Chesapeake Bay.

The manatee was spotted over the weekend, and pictures taken of the creature made it easy for officials to figure out who it really is.

Staff members from the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the U.S. Geological Society in Florida identified the animal as Ilya by the unique scarring on its tail, according to the Aquarium blog.  Ilya is a male who was first photo-documented in 1994, and he has been known to spend all of his time in the Miami area, so there's no word on why he traveled up the East Coast.

The National Aquarium and Coast Guard officials are urging boaters to be careful not to harm the manatee if they spot him.

Manatees are infrequent visitors to the Chesapeake Bay. A manatee that wandered into the bay in the mid-1990s was trapped and airlifted back to Florida when scientists became concerned he wouldn't make it back on his own before the waters chilled in autumn.

That manatee, nicknamed Chessie, was outfitted with a transmitter, and his travels up and down the East Coast were followed for years.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us