For the fourth time this summer, a manatee has popped up in Outer Banks waterways.
Dave Davis Sr., captured photos of him (or her) near the Roanoke Marshes Light in Manteo on Tuesday, with one photo showing what appears to be healing propeller marks on his back.
The marks are similar to those seen on a manatee who stopped to visit in Currituck Sound in mid-June.
The manatee was spotted again June 29, swimming around the Rodanthe Pier, then turned up in a canal in Kill Devil Hills on July 12.
Manatee sightings are relatively unusual in North Carolina, but they have been spotted as far north as coastal Virginia during summer migration season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“During the summer manatees expand their range, and on rare occasions are seen as far north as Massachusetts on the Atlantic coast and as far west as Texas on the Gulf coast,” the wildlife service says. “Manatees may travel hundreds of miles during a year’s time, preferring to travel along channels and shorelines.”
West Indian manatees are federally-protected and considered endangered, though through protection and recovery efforts, their numbers have rebounded in recent years.
Adult manatees average 10 feet long and weigh about 2,200 pounds, with some i recorded at lengths greater than 13 feet and weighing as much as 3,500 pounds, the USFW said.