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Florida's Gentle Giants (12 photo)

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Manatees (often known as Sea Cows) are one of Florida's most endangered creatures and few remain in the local waters. An aquatic relative of the Elephant, they can grow up to thirteen feet and are often referred to as 'Gentle Giants'. These animals are endangered despite the fact that they have little or no predators, this is due to the fact that they are often injured by boats or polluted waters. Usually found grazing on seagrasses in the shallow waters (at depths of 1-2 meters) these harmless animals can become trapped between the water bottom and the bottom of boats that have entered the shallow waters. Watercrafts are also responsible for the injury and death of some Sea Cows as they collide with the vessels propellers. Amongst the small population of these Sea Cows, you will find on many, the scars they bare if they are lucky enough to survive the collision. The animals can also become trapped and crushed in flood control gates which automatically close and some fall victim to fishing nets.

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