Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 19th, 2009
The fate of the Florida manatee Ilya, which earlier appeared off Cape Cod and then wandered into northern New Jersey waters, remained unclear over the weekend.
The meandering male manatee had been stuck near a Linden, New Jersey oil refinery, and officials say plunging temperatures and a lack of food were endangering its life. Although the animal appears to be in good health, it had been huddling near an outfall pipe at the oil refinery as that was the only place it could find warm water.
Officials with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey told the AP that Ilya was last seen Friday afternoon, October 16.
A hopeful for rescue attempt over the weekend was not possible due to the continuing bad weather along the New Jersey shore from the Nor’easter over Massachusetts.
Charles Underwood, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Florida, said Ilya went missing Friday after eating a case of lettuce and then fleeing into a small river.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.