Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Manatees stranded due to Irma

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School Manatees stranded due to Irma
Andrew Cummings | 12 September, 2017, 00:43

"We called every service we could think of, but no one answered", one member of the group writes on Facebook.

Several people posted photos of the animals that were stuck on the shore Sunday during an usually low tide created just before the hurricane made its way up the Florida coast and slammed into the Sarasota region.

So the group rolled the creatures onto tarps, dragging them a hundred yards, according to the person who posted the video and pictures online.

The friends tried to clear mud away from one of the animal's face and tried to fill the small area with water.

"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.

Two deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrived and helped the citizens get the manatees to safety.

A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter

The 'tees reportedly "swam off" once they were back in the ocean and hopefully have a strong enough constitution to shake off such a harrowing experience.

An official with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said the organization received multiple reports about the stranded manatees.

"But between [the manatees] weighing over 500 lbs. and being stranded in nearly mud-like sand, we couldn't make it happen". "We couldn't just let those manatees die out there".

Clavijo's post has since been shared more than 70,000 times.

The Bradenton Herald said that people should not attempt to move manatees themselves because they are protected at the state and federal levels.

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