Trick fails to lure manatee

October 01, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

The elusive manatee lived to swim another day in the nTC Chesapeake Bay yesterday, as choppy and muddy waters marred visibility and thwarted searchers using recorded manatee sounds as a lure.

Wildlife experts thought the recorded sounds might attract the mammal. But the manatee didn't bite and the search was called off about 4:30 p.m.

The attempt to attract the animal with manatee sounds was a long shot, said James A. Valade, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and had not been tried before. But the hope was that since manatees often travel in groups of two or three, "You would think they would be interested in a little company," he said.

If the manatee does not make its way to warmer water soon, it could die. Manatees cannot live in water temperatures below 66 degrees.

Yesterday, it was spotted in a harbor area where the water temperature was 72 degrees.

Mr. Valade said the search would resume today.

Anyone who spots the manatee is asked to call (800) 820-8994.

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