In today’s episode of, “Global Warming: What CAN’T it do?” we head on over to the Washington Post and this article about a Florida manatee spotted in Delaware, which led to a question of whether or not climate change was somehow to blame:
Long answer, no. The slow-swimming mammal was just pulling a Jack Kerouac:
Simple curiosity can be enough to drive some animals out of their normal ranges. Just last week, a Florida manatee was spotted in Delaware swimming through a canal near the Chesapeake Bay. Since manatees usually don’t venture much further north than the Carolinas, the sighting attracted national attention and invited discussion on what could have caused the animal’s behavior.
But while it might be tempting to speculate that climate-related warming waters or changes in ocean currents might have drawn the manatee so far up the coast, the incident may have simply been the result of the animal’s curiosity or wanderlust, says Katie Tripp, director of science and conservation at Save the Manatee Club.
“Like people have different personalities, manatees do too, and some seem to have the traveling and exploring bug,” she says.
Although that’s not to say global warming isn’t affecting manatee behavior. Just last February, wildlife officials in Florida had to rescue almost 20 manatees who had become trapped in a storm drain while attempting to escape record cold temperatures brought on by man-made global warming:
Manatees just can’t catch a break.