Manatee makes an appearance in Old Nags Head Cove

A manatee eating grass Sunday morning in Old Nags Head Cove. [Photo courtesy Shaun Hypes]

A manatee with distinct markings made another appearance on the Outer Banks Sunday, this time in one of the canals at Old Nags Head Cove.

Shaun Hypes and family caught some video and photos of the “sea cow” hanging around a canal Sunday morning. “Just been hanging out eating grass,” Hypes said. “Kids were pretty lucky to get to see it.”

The manatee has what appears to be healing propeller marks on his back, and — as a child in the video points out — they kind of look like a “Hi.”

The manatee in other sightings along the Outer Banks this summer has similar marks.

Manatee sightings are relatively unusual in North Carolina, but they have been spotted as far north as coastal Virginia during summer migration season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“During the summer manatees expand their range, and on rare occasions are seen as far north as Massachusetts on the Atlantic coast and as far west as Texas on the Gulf coast,” the wildlife service says. “Manatees may travel hundreds of miles during a year’s time, preferring to travel along channels and shorelines.”

West Indian manatees are federally-protected and considered endangered, though through protection and recovery efforts, their numbers have rebounded in recent years.

Adult manatees average 10 feet long and weigh about 2,200 pounds, with some i recorded at lengths greater than 13 feet and weighing as much as 3,500 pounds, the USFW said.

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