Researchers may never be able to prove that manatees are objectively the most adorable thing ever (even though they clearly are), but they are able to report that the state-wide manatee population is on the rise.
Back in 2001, researchers counted 3,300 manatees. There were only 1,706 in a 1997 survey. But a week-long survey this month turned up 3,807 manatees. This is the highest number in Florida on record. They're still classified as being vulnerable to extinction. Boat strikes and other human-caused manatee deaths present a big problem to the small population.
These new numbers are promising though, and can only mean that there's a lot of hot, hot manatee love going on in our waters.
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