The U.S. is home to only one species of manatee – a subspecies of the West Indian manatee whose range spans the North American coast from Florida to Brazil.
These animals have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1967. And while some years seem to be better for them, 2013 has unfortunately been the deadliest year on record for these gentle giants, with 771 killed as of Nov. 5, according to Defenders of Wildlife.
From poaching to habitat loss, manatees have a number of human-made threats that keep them on the endangered species list from year to year. Today, only about 4,000 to 5,000 manatees live off the coast of Florida, reports Scientific America.
In honor of Manatee Awareness Month happening now through the end of November, check out and spread around the video below.
Without words, the video beautifully encompasses the true gentle nature of these manatees and offers yet another reason why we must renew the push to protect them for years to come.
Want to learn more about manatees and how to help them? Click here!
Image source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife