TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A team of marine biologists successfully relocated a manatee Friday after it managed to trap itself in a Fort Myers retention pond after Hurricane Ian.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a Southwest Field Lab received a call last week that the manatee was entrapped in a retention pond system in Lee County, Fort Myers near Billy Creek.
A team of marine biologists was assembled to relocate the mammal which was reportedly in good condition. The manatee was hauled out of the water and then transported a few miles away to the Orange River where it was released.
In a series of photos shared Friday, the marine mammal rescue team can be seen using a floating net to trap the manatee and a special tarp to hoist the animal out of the water. It was then transported a few miles away to the Orange River where it was released.
FWC said the manatee managed to trap itself in the retention pond after Hurricane Ian brought higher water levels due to excessive rain and storm surge. Once levels began to recede, the manatee was trapped.
To report any sick, injured, orphaned, or entrapped manatees calls can be made to the Wildlife Alert hotline at (888) 404-3922.