Officials in Vero Beach answered the age-old question that has been baffling beachgoers for a long time: how long does it take to clean up a mile of manatee poop?
Apparently just a few hours.
It seems Humiston Park Beach in Indian River County was so overrun with feces that city workers were forced to hit the shore to scoop up the poop yesterday to make the beach safe for swimmers and sunbathers.
"I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve lived along beaches all my life," beachgoer Bill Becker told tcpalm.com. "It was disgusting, but mystifying. It looked like Great Dane poop all along the beach."
Hundreds of piles of poop were found and after a "feel and smell test" was performed, State wildlife officials confirmed that the waste was in fact from manatees.
"We did a feel and smell test, and based on the description we gave to Florida Fish and Wildlife, they told us it was manatee droppings," environmental health specialist Charles Vogt said. "I’ve never followed a manatee closely enough to know otherwise."
Manatees are capable of eating 100 pounds of sea grass in a day, but their waste doesn't usually make it ashore. Vogt said strong winds may have helped lift it from the ocean floor.
Here's hoping what happens up in Vero Beach, stays in Vero Beach.