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It’s Manatee Appreciation Day! After getting over the initial shock that not every day is dedicated to appreciating the sea cow, social media users celebrated the lovable marine mammal by sharing adorable photos and videos and raising awareness about these magnificent creatures.

According to the National Day Calendar, Manatee Appreciation Day is observed annually on the last Wednesday in March. National Geographic reports that manatees in the wild have an average lifespan of 40 years and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. While the animals are known for their cute and cuddly appearance, they are also at risk. “Though protected by laws, they still face threats,” National Geographic states. “The gentle beasts are often accidentally hit by motorboats in ever more crowded waters, and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets.”

It's Manatee Appreciation Day! Each year on the last Wednesday of March, the world comes together to appreciate manatees, the beloved underwater couch potato. Commonly known as the “sea cow,” this slow-moving mammal has been found in the warm waters of the Caribbean, the Amazon, and the west coast of Africa. The most significant challenge manatees face today is loss of habitat. As a migratory species, they are also often fatally injured in collisions with boats. The good news — this blubbery creature has officially been removed from the endangered species list. In honor of Manatee Appreciation Day, go to the link in bio to read seven fun facts about these mighty mammals.⠀ ⠀ (: Bob Bonde/USGS) #environment #manateeappreciationday #manatee #seacreature #sealife #oceans

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There are currently at least 6,131 manatees in Florida, according to the Save the Manatee Club. The sea cow was removed from the endangered species list and moved to the threatened listed last year, which is considered “a marker of progress in the species’ recovery.” There are still federal protections in place for manatees.

Here are some fun facts about manatees:

  • Manatees are herbivores and primarily eat seagrass
  • They are distant relatives of elephants
  • According to the National Day Calendar, they spend most of their time eating, sleeping and traveling—very slowly

See how social media celebrated Manatee Appreciation Day below:

Social Media Celebrates Manatee Appreciation Day with Photos of Threatened Animal

How are you celebrating Manatee Appreciation Day? Which manatee photo/video is your favorite? Sound off in the comments section below!