Video: Manatee stranded in Sesuit Harbor

Nicole Muller

A rare manatee that’s been sighted over the past week in Cape Cod Bay has stranded in Sesuit Harbor.

Dennis Natural Resources Director Brian Malone said late Wednesday morning that officials have closed the east side of the harbor to boats until the manatee is removed. “They’re waiting for folks from the [Cape Cod] Stranding Network to get there and decide what to do,” Malone said, adding that the New England Aquarium has also been notified.

After boaters reported sighting the manatee in the harbor Tuesday, Harbormaster Terry Clen and natural resource officer Alan Marcy scoured the harbor, only catching brief glimpses of the mammal.

Natural resource officer Tanya Johansen saw the manatee Wednesday morning. “It was swimming between the boat ramp and the dock,” she said. “It’s a small manatee, and one eye appears to be injured.”

Large, fully aquatic marine mammals sometimes called “sea cows,” manatees typically inhabit warm, shallow, coastal estuaries. They cannot survive in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although manatees are rarely seen as far north as Cape Cod, Malone said one was spotted several years ago in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.