Florida Manatee Deaths Reach Record High in 2013

There were 803 reported manatee deaths as of Dec. 13.

Friday, Dec 20, 2013  |  Updated 11:20 AM EDT
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In this photo taken Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Snooty the manatee lifts her snout out of the water at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Fla. Snooty will turn 65 on July 21st. He was born in captivity in Miami and is the oldest manatee in captivity. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

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Manatee deaths reached a record high in 2013.

More than 800 were reported with only two weeks left in the year, the highest number since records started being kept in Florida in the 1970s, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

The 803 manatees that had died as of Dec. 13 represent 16 percent of the state's estimated population of 5,000 manatees, reported the newspaper. Of those dead, 173 were breeding-age females.

Last year's number of manatee deaths was much lower at 392, according to the Times.

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