Officials: Manatee Died Before Butchering
Wildlife biologists say that a manatee whose body was butchered by someone died before the mutilation, most likely of natural causes. Still, the person responsible for cutting off the animal's flippers and tail still can be charged with mutilating a federally protected animal.
"Even though it was dead, you are not allowed to possess, and this is a crude way of saying it, any parts or pieces of an endangered species,'' Biscayne National Park spokeswoman Susan Gonchar told the Miami Herald.
The manatee's body was found last week in the park's waters.