Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Manatees rescued by Florida locals after Hurricane Irma leaves them stranded

Manatees rescued by Florida locals after Hurricane Irma leaves them stranded

Two manatees were beached along Florida's Sarasota Bay when Hurricane Irma sucked water from their usual home and left them stranded in knee-high mud.

The storm is expected to bring 6-10 feet of storm surge, 6-12 inches of rain and a lot of debris, according to McCrane.

A full-grown manatee can weigh in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds, so moving one is no small task. "My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered", Michael Sechler wrote on Facebook and Instagram.

He and a group of people, including law enforcement, were able to roll the bulky sea cows onto a tarp and drag them 100 yards to open water.

Florida residents rescue manatees stranded by a low tide.

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded
Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

Local Floridian, Marcelo Clavejo, was feeling restless because of the storm and happened to check out the bay when he noticed the helpless manatees. He wrote on Facebook that he came across the animals near Whitfield, north of Sarasota.

Clavijo pronounced it: "a pretty cool experience".

However, he said the commission is anxious that the manatees could end up in areas where they naturally wouldn't once the tide comes back, but he doesn't think they will get injured.

"Believe me, we tried to move them", Sechler wrote. "But between [the manatees] weighing over 500lbs and being stranded in nearly mud-like sand, we couldn't make it happen." .

"Normally, if we have to move a manatee, we would use a sling similar to the way you've probably seen dolphins moved", Cover says.

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