HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The Department of Natural Resources is urging coastal residents and visitors not to feed the manatees.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports there are thousands of online videos of people feeding or providing water through a hose to manatees.
But agency veterinarian Al Segars says while that might make a cute video, it may not end well for manatees.
Segars says feeding manatees alters their behavior and they linger around populated areas to be fed. He says that puts them at risk for being hit by boats.
Segars says that in South Carolina, manatees are fed most in the Hilton Head and Charleston areas. Two were killed near Hilton Head Island last year while in 2012 a pregnant manatee was killed near the island.