FWC rescues manatees trapped inland since Hurricane Hermine

Photo: FWC
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By: Erika Fernandez
September 28, 2016

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- A mother manatee and her baby calf are safe tonight after being rescued from an inland pond. It took a team of 30 volunteers to make that happen.

It all took place Tuesday in Perry with help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. According to the FWC, the pair have been there after getting stuck during Hurricane Hermine.

Volunteers say the manatees were found wallowing in mud and water. They were alert, but unable to move after an FWC team started clearing the roadways of downed trees.

That's when the crew developed a rescue plan. They conducted health checks and monitored the manatees for any major health issues. The FWC says the health checks proved they both lost weight, but overall, their health was pretty good.

Crews say this type of issue is common, especially after large storms hit the Big Bend area.

"When you're dealing with that kind of water, that's just something you cant plan for. And a lot of time, its just reactionary once its done to try and give care to the animals that we can find," says Manatee Rescue Coordinator, Andy Garrett.

The manatees have since been relocated to a nearby boat ramp and released into the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials say they put a tracker on the manatees to continue monitoring their movements and they say they’re doing just fine.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 28, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Two manatees are back in the gulf after receiving some help from wildlife officials Tuesday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the manatees were rescued after they were discovered 1.5 miles inland on Tuesday.

FWC officials say the manatees were found trapped in a large pothole in Taylor County while crews were removing downed trees leftover from Hurricane Hermine.

The manatees had been stuck inland since the hurricane moved through nearly a month ago.

According to FWC, the nine-foot-long and five-foot-long manatees were removed from the pothole, loaded onto a truck and examined by biologists and veterinarians before being released at a nearby boat ramp.

Other than being thin from a lack of food, the manatees were still healthy, FWC says.

The agency urged anyone who may come across sick or injured manatees to call the wildlife alert hotline at (888) 404-3922.

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