Stranded Manatees in Sarasota, Florida Saved

East County's Nina Toby James and Noah Klepek gather their belongings before entering an emergency shelter at Carlos E. Haile Middle School

No one should try moving the manatees themselves, as they are a state and federally protected species.

A group of locals are being hailed as heroes for coming to the rescue of a pair of manatees left stranded and running out of time after Hurricane Irma drained the waterways around Tampa Bay, Florida on Sunday.

A group of friends kept two manatees watered. "We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge [would] come soon enough to save them".

Clavijo and the others rolled the large marine mammals up in a tarp and carried them a 100 yards to a place where they could enter the water once more, Clavijo explained in his Facebook post about the rescue.

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.

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

He said, "We don't want anybody to risk their lives; they were trying to do the right thing but it's not worth it".

We can only imagine how scared the manatees were...

... So they turned to social media.

"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." .

Marcelo Clavijo posted video and photos on Facebook describing the scene.

"It shows what people can do when they come together".

The post was seen by Manatee County police and the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission who turned up to the area and rescued the animals.


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