'Stir Crazy' Floridians Help Save Stranded Manatees

Clavijo posted a video on Facebook showing the team of rescuers struggling to move one of the big manatees with their basic tools.

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

"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." .

Forecasters warned gawkers to stay clear of the exposed beach, warning that at least 10 to 15-feet of a "life-threatening storm surge" could return at any moment, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center. "I thought they (manatees) were done for", he said. "We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge come soon enough to save them", Sechler wrote.

The stranded manatees are being picked up in tarps and returned to the water as they are reported.

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

The viral Facebook post has more than 96,000 likes and 68,000 shares. "They both swam off".

"We're not actually intervening at this point", Gordon said.

A friend of Mr Sechler, Tony Faradini-Campos, said that he and the group spotted two "blobs" lying on the sand which would usually be submerged with water.

While moving the manatees might have been well-intended, Brian Norris, a public information officer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said people should not place themselves in danger to try to save marine wildlife during inclement weather.

More news: Expected to miss several weeks

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