BOSTON (AP) – An animal welfare official says preliminary studies show that a wayward manatee that died on the way home to Florida was killed by cold stress after spending time in frigid Cape Cod waters.

Chris Cutter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said Tuesday that prolonged exposure to cold water caused the juvenile male manatee to burn most of its fat in an effort to stay warm.

The manatee ultimately suffered internal organ failure and its grave condition became apparent only after rescue workers pulled it out of the water early Saturday in an effort to save its life. The animal died Sunday outside Orlando, where it was being transferred.

The manatee wandered into a harbor near Dennis, Mass. Manatees are normally found in the warm water off Florida.

and Georgia.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.