Necropsy results for dead manatee found in Shem Creek inconclusive

Necropsy results for dead manatee found in Shem Creek inconclusive

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says necropsy results of a manatee that was found dead in Shem Creek were inconclusive.

Erin Weeks, with DNR, says the department was notified about the dead mammal Tuesday.

The young adult manatee was found in a marsh near the mouth of Shem Creek.

"Due to tide levels our crews weren't able to get out there until this morning," Weeks said.

Crews retrieved the manatee at 7 a.m. Wednesday and brought him to a facility for a necropsy, an autopsy for an animal.

A veterinarian with the department completed the necropsy around 2 p.m.

According to Weeks, results showed the animal had been out in the water decomposing for several days.

Vets were searching for propeller wounds and broken bones to see if a boat had it the animal, however none were found.

"The vet tells me the manatee's body was full of food, and appeared healthy," Weeks said. "It didn't appear he had been sick recently."

Manatees are not uncommon to Shem Creek. Several have been spotted in the area and along the Charleston Harbor.

Weeks said boat strikes are the number one cause of mortality for manatees, especially in Florida. However, it's not as common in Charleston.

DNR officials advise boaters to be aware of the mammals when starting their boats and while out on the water. They urge you to never feed the animals.

The manatee was a young adult male, 114 inches long (9.5 feet).

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