Pinellas County

Rescue workers save 3 stranded manatees

OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA) - It was a successful water rescue in Oldsmar today. It took hours but rescue workers finally captured the third of three stranded manatees.

Buckets of water kept the first captured manatee cool on the banks of a pond here at Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve.

Immediately, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission veterinarians gave this female a physical from it's hairy snout to it's broad tail.

"They were in good condition, healthy. The first blood results came back remarkable as well," FWC Veterinarian, Martine DeWitt said.

Once loaded onto a box truck, the team did the same on the second mammal.

The smaller male manatee got a little feisty but eventually got a clean bill of health.

The team also gently heaved him up into the truck and off they went. Just about a mile from the pond, the team successfully unloaded and freed them into the waters of Old Tampa Bay.

That's when Paco Amran stopped to watch.

"I was taking a break from lunch, taking a little bike ride there it was. Nice break time!" he said.

With two of three manatees back where they belonged, it was back to the pond to rescue the third. 

Good news! They got her and also received a physical.

Within half an hour, vets had her back in the open water.

Experts say the manatees probably swam in during the higher than normal tides during Hurricane Michael.

All of the health information gathered Tuesday will be used for future manatee research.


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