Manatees Rescued After Irma Leaves Them High And Dry In Sarasota Bay

Posted September 12, 2017

As Hurricane Irma charged up Florida's west coast Sunday afternoon, it sucked up water along the way, draining waterways and bays.

Forecasters warned gawkers to stay clear of the exposed beach, warning that at least 10 to 15-feet of a "life-threatening storm surge" could return at any moment, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center.

"One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes".

"Believe me, we tried to move them", wrote Sechler's friend, Steven Reisinger, in his own Facebook post.

Placing them on green tarps, residents pulled the manatees more than 100 yards back into the water, CBS News reported.

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

Michael Sechler, who shared images of the beached animals on Facebook, said he noticed them suffering while he and a group of friends were driving near the bay in Manatee County.

"It was a pretty cool experience", Marcelo Clavijo wrote in his post, which included a video and a series of photos. He saw the water had receded and saw two manatees on the flats.

Nadia Gordon, a marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Bradenton Herald that they are "not actually intervening at this point".

"We had to do something about it", said Tony Faradini-Campos of Sarasota.

Gordon says it's not uncommon for the manatees to be tidally stranded and that it's better not to move them. He also asked that people stay in their homes until they're sure the storm has passed, and stay off the roads while officials work to clear threats.

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