A Florida manatee died earlier this year after having too much “high-intensity” sex with his brother, officials revealed this week.
Necropsy results revealed that 38-year-old Hugh died in April after succumbing to traumatic injuries caused by a sexual encounter with another, larger, male manatee at the facility — his brother, Buffett.
One of the fatal injuries was a 14.5-centimeter rip in Hugh’s colon, the USDA report obtained by ABC 7 said.
A fecal sample collected from Hugh after the encounter confirmed the presence of fresh blood, but employees at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium reportedly allowed the brothers to continue engaging in “high-intensity interactions and occasional penetration” throughout the day.”
“At approximately 5:15 pm, the larger male was observed penetrating the smaller male again. When the larger male swam away, the smaller male was seen unresponsive at the bottom of the pool. It was confirmed that he had passed,” the USDA said.
Handlers maintain that Hugh and Buffett had been engaging in consensual and “natural” mating behavior for two months leading up to Hugh’s death.
The months-long heightened sexual activity between the two brothers — the only manatees in the aquarium — was the first time the pair had been “observed initiating and mutually seeking interactions from each other,” Mote said in a statement Tuesday.
“There were no obvious signs of discomfort or distress such as listing, crunching, or active avoidance that would have triggered a need for intervention,” according to Mote.
Animal keepers allowed the pair to continue necking without attempts to separate the two out of fear it would cause “undue anxiety and negative effects in both manatees.”
Experts tried redirecting Hugh and Buffett’s attention from one another while heavily monitoring the two.
On April 29, animal staff noticed a significant “change in [Hugh’s] behavior” — prompting them to collect the bloody stool sample — but did not interfere with Buffett’s continued efforts to mount his ailing brother.
Mote claims its team had been adequately following protocol and veterinarian advice.
“And that is what we will continue to strive for — serving as a gold standard for animal health and wellbeing, as we have shown throughout our history,” the aquarium said.
“Thank you for your continued support during this heartbreaking time. Our Mote family continues to mourn the loss of Hugh, and we know you do, too.”
Both Hugh and Buffett have lived at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota since 1996 and are the world’s only two manatees to participate in voluntary, detailed behavioral research designed to aid manatee conservation, according to the institution.
Mote did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.