The manatee is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the coastal waters of the United States. Manatees are primarily located in Florida and Georgia. These gentle animals would never harm a human in any way. Unless they laid on you, then it would be a different story. .
Every year more and more people live near the warm coasts and rivers that are also the homes to manatees. Manatees have fewer places to live and feed. Other threats are caused by the changes people bring to the shallow waters where manatees live. For example, some people drive boats carelessly and too fast. Manatees are not quick enough to get out of the way and they are killed or injured badly by boat's hull and sharp propellers. Some people chase or tease the animals. Floodgates and canal lock sometimes kill the animals by trapping them under water and causing them to drown. Pollution kills the sea grass and other plants which manatees eat. .
In the past, manatees have been hunted by explorers, settlers, and traders for their tasty meat. Also for their tough skins which were used to make boat covers, and other heavy duty articles. They were also slaughtered for their fat. They killed them by putting up nets and stick fences. Today this is illegal, but people still do it anyways. Once there were thousands of manatees living peacefully throughout the world. Sadly, it is very different now days. .
These animals are dreadfully in danger of becoming extinct and dying out completely. Manatees can be saved in spite of all of the dangers they face. But we all must take action right away. Conservation groups are working to enforce laws forbidding the hunting of manatees. They are also starting to establish protected areas where they can live undisturbed. There has been a manatee sanctuary in Florida. Sanctuary from hunters has not protected the manatee from speed boats however. Speed limits in waterways can help manatees by giving them enough time to avoid collisions and reducing the severity of collisions when they do occur.