Hurricane Irma: Manatees marooned in drained bay saved by residents

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

Hurricane Irma has already claimed at least four lives, as it batters Florida, having earlier killed 28 people in the Caribbean. Rescue a few manatees, naturally.

Manatee County resident Marcelo Clavijo posted on Facebook he was going stir-crazy and chose to go for a ride when he came across a dry bay.

In a Facebook post, Michale Sechler said he went to the bay with some friends to check out the phenomenon when they noticed two large objects lying in the mud.

Marcelo Clavijo, who joined in on the rescue mission, said: "It was a pretty cool experience".

Fortunately, their call for help was eventually answered by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. "They are really heavy".

Storm surges caused by the hurricane saw water sucked out of bays and canals, while other areas normally above sea level were flooded.

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

"Under normal circumstances, they would never beach themselves voluntarily, so it's an animal that could be compromised by a situation like this", Jack Cover, general curator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, tells NPR.

"We just let nature take its course", she said.

Nadia Gordon, marine mammal biologist with FWC, said the commission has received several reports of stranded manatees in the county, according to the Bradenton Herald.

"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." .

A WFLA meteorologist explained why water receded.

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