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Manatee Spotted Off Rhode Island

August 21, 2006

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) _ An endangered manatee made a rare appearance in Rhode Island waters during the weekend, a state Department of Environmental Management official said.

The manatee was seen Sunday in Greenwich Bay off the coast of Warwick. The large marine mammals are usually found only in the warm waters of Florida and the Carolinas.

DEM dispatcher Michael Mahoney said the manatee seen in Rhode Island appeared healthy.

It is not known whether the manatee is the same one seen earlier this month near Manhattan Island in New York. That manatee was tracked as it swam north along the coasts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.

Manatees are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Florida wildlife experts counted 3,116 in their annual survey in February.

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