ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The FWC is on the lookout for three manatees that became stranded in a Pinellas County pond after Hurricane Idalia.

Despite a massive search effort Monday, officials have not been able to find and rescue them.

“There’s three in here, there’s a mom and a baby,” said Andy Garrett State Manatee Rescue Coordinator with FWC.

The three manatees were last spotted on Friday by a fisherman, and again on Saturday.

More than 50 people surrounded Clam Bayou in St. Petersburg for the search Monday, including the FWC Manatee Response Team and other rescue organizations, but there were no signs of the three manatees Monday.

“I feel like we’ve done a pretty good search of the pond. We had a drone up, we had people surrounding, we had boats, and we just didn’t see a manatee let alone three,” Garrett said as they wrapped up the search.

FWC officials said the storm surge from Hurricane Idalia pushed the three manatees into the retention pond. Once the water recedes, FWC said it is not uncommon for manatees to get stuck.

“We did 5 [rescues] down in Fort Myers last week, we got two more to do in Cape Coral on Wednesday, we got these three, so it’s not totally uncommon to have these kind of situations pop up,” said Garrett.

“It’s not that these animals are stranded or under stress, but we need to get them out,” said Dr. Martine Dewit, a Veterinarian with the FWC Manatee Lab.

Dr. Dewit said the manatees are not in immediate danger, but it’s best to get them back into open water before winter so they can travel to warmer water.

“They look big and fat but their fat doesn’t actually insulate them against the cold, so when temperatures drop into the 60’s they are susceptible to disease, and we call that cold stress disease,” Dr. Dewit said.

FWC officials said the hope is the manatees somehow got back over the wall. Otherwise, if there are more sightings, rescuers may have to return.

“It’s good news if they got out on their own — Great! That way, we don’t have to use the net and catch them out of here. It’s bad news if we get called in a day later that maybe we missed them somewhere and we have to go through the same process again a different day,” Garrett said.

The public is urged to call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922 if they spot the manatees in Clam Bayou, or any dead or distressed manatee.