Manatee spotted in Chesapeake Bay

A manatee was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay this week.

A manatee was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay this week, a rare sighting of an animal typically found in Florida or warmer climes.

The manatee was seen Tuesday evening in St. George Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River near Waldorf, according to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Manatees sometimes migrate up the East Coast during the warmer winter months, aquarium officials said. The sea grasses found in the Chesapeake Bay are an ideal food.

While most manatees do not venture as far north as Maryland, the sighting is not without precedent. Perhaps the most famous manatee to have visited Maryland is Chessie, a male manatee who has been spotted in the bay several times since 1994.

Manatees are listed as a vulnerable species by the World Conservation Union because of the danger they face from powerboats and other human threats. The aquarium asked anyone who spots a manatee to give the animal space and call the National Aquarium's stranding hot line at 410-576-3880.

cwells@baltsun.com

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