CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Manatees are an endangered animal that don’t normally frequent Rhode Island waters, but one was spotted in Quonochontaug Pond over the weekend.

Scott Olszewski, who works for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, snapped a photo of the animal Saturday.

Olszewski said they haven’t seen the marine mammal since Saturday, but added that if the manatee is healthy, it should be able to find its way out of the pond.

While it’s rare to see a manatee in New England, the DEM said there were sightings in both 2006 and 2016. The sighting in 2016 was off of Cape Cod.

“It’s not completely out of the ordinary to see species in our waters who’s core distribution is a fair distance away,” Olszewski said. “We have had manatees in our waters before, as well as Beluga whales from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

Manatees generally prefer warmer waters and usually stay near the Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast during the winter. The temperature of the water in Rhode Island isn’t the main concern for this manatee right now.

“It seems the habitat can support them,” Olszewski continued. “The question is whether they dodge the human activities all around them.”

The DEM is asking boaters to be on the look out for the slow moving animal. Those who spot a manatee while out on the water should “keep a no-wake speed until it’s a safe distance [away],” according to the DEM.

The DEM also said people shouldn’t try to feed or touch a manatee and always stay at least 150 feet away.

Anyone who sees a manatee should report it to the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Hotline at (860) 572-5955 ext. 107.