ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Wildlife officials rescued a manatee in distress near St. Pete, thanks to an observant USF student.
On Jan. 19, a student reported a small manatee alone in the Bayboro Harbor – between the USF-St. Pete campus and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Research Institute – that was surfacing frequently, breathing rapidly, and appeared to have bleached skin.
FWC said she acted quickly and called their Wildlife Alert Hotline. FWC staff captured the manatee and transported it to ZooTampa, where it is being rehabilitated and treated for cold exposure.
Even though the manatee is considered small, it still took around a dozen people to carry it to a FWC truck.
FWC is reminding Floridians to report any sightings of sick, injured, orphaned or dead manatees to their Wildlife Alert Hotline: 888-404-FWCC (3922).