Community rallies to rescue manatees stranded by Irma

Aaron Brown
September 12, 2017

"One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes", the post read.

Several good Samaritans jumped into action after Irma sucked the water from Sarasota Bay leaving several manatees stranded and in need of help.

Strangers banded together to help two manatees stranded by Hurricane Irma.

"We rolled them on the tarp and then dragged them a 100 yards it was insane", Clavijo explained.

Michael Sechler posted that the animals, known as sea cows, were far too massive to be lifted, so they gave them water.

Intrigued, Marcelo Clavijo and several friends went out for a drive to take in the unusual sight of an empty bay. He wrote on Facebook that he came across the animals near Whitfield, north of Sarasota.

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

"It was a pretty cool experience", Marcelo Clavijo wrote in his post, which included a video and a series of photos.

Nadia Gordon, a marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Bradenton Herald that they are "not actually intervening at this point".

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.

"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.

"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." .

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