ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ The latest official count of manatees shows there are more than 6,200 of the marine mammals in Florida.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday that almost 3,300 were counted on Florida’s east coast, and almost 3,000 manatees were counted on the state’s west coast.
Wildlife officials say this year’s count is on par with last year’s count of more than 6,000 manatees.
The counts this year and last year are the only two times on record when Florida’s manatee population exceeded 6,000.
The annual count represents the minimal number of manatees in the state since many marine mammals go undetected.