Stranded manatees rescued in Sarasota before Irma hits

Two manatees are rescued from Sarasota Bay when the water receded

The manatees were left high and dry when water drained, leaving them stranded near Sarasota, a small city on Florida's west coast, around 50 miles south of Tampa.

The animals were stuck in mud 100 yards away from deep water near Whitfield Avenue in Manatee County. After the photos of the manatees were shared more than 6,000 times, Sarasota County and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took notice and came to the rescue of the huge sea cows, reports the Atlanta Journal-Courier.

The entire thing was caught on video. "My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered".

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

A full-grown manatee can weigh in the neighborhood of 1,000 pounds, so moving one is no small task.

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

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.

The viral Facebook post has more than 96,000 likes and 68,000 shares.

Tony Foradini-Campos on Facebook said the FWC and Sarasota County were able to come out and help save the manatees. "Unfortunately with manatees, they are accustomed to being tidally stranded at times".

"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. "We couldn't just let those manatees die out there".

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