Hurricane Irma strands manatees as residents rush to the rescue

Posted September 12, 2017

Residents in the Sarasota area posted photos on social media Sunday showing a pair of manatees that had been beached when the oncoming Hurricane Irma caused the tide to recede in advance of its arrival in the area.

No one should try moving the manatees themselves, as they are a state and federally protected species. The video has already been watched more than 5 million times.

"They put some tarps under the manatees and they kind of used that as a luge and got him back out there", Faradini-Campos told the newspaper. "We called every service we could think of, but no one answered", one member of the group writes on Facebook. Michael Sechler of Sarasota, Florida, saw these stranded creatures beached where formerly there was water and took action to save them.

Hurricane Irma has pushed water out of a bay in Tampa, but forecasters are telling people not to venture out there, because it's going to return with a potentially deadly vengeance.

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

People walk out onto what is normally four feet of water in Old Tampa Bay on Sunday.

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They ended up at a bay on Whitfield Avenue and US 41 in Sarasota where the water had receded leading the local wildlife stranded.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

Nadia Gordon, marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said his office has received several reports of stranded manatees in the county, but it isn't intervening.