These six manatees found themselves in need of a rescue after hurricane Hermine.
If you thought hurricanes only affected humans, you’d be dead wrong. An unusual rescue in Florida after hurricane Hermine proves these storms can affect animals too.
Six unfortunate manatees found themselves trapped in a golf course water hazard with no way out. “When hurricane Hermine hit Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier this month, heavy rains produced flooding and caused several manatees to be displaced in a pond on a golf course in Crystal River,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission shared on their Facebook page.
Unfortunately waters receded far too quickly for the large mammals to make their escape to a nearby canal. But the manatees did catch a bit of luck in the incident. The pond provided plenty of food in the form of hydrilla plants.
“It’s like when you go on vacation and you give up your diet, that’s what they’ve been doing,” Crystal River spokesperson Terry Natwick told Fox 13 News. “They’ve been on vacation. They’re probably going to come out of here 20 pounds heavier because they probably never had this much to eat in forever, so they’re going to miss this place I think.”
The manatees are already large enough. At least two of them were mothers estimated to be 1,500 pounds each. And after catching them, there was no heavy equipment involved in moving them, just some specialty-made manatee stretchers and a lot of people to carry them.
“All around these stretchers there are handles, and literally, it’s just manpower,” said manatee expert John Spann. “You get a person on every handle and you lift and walk.”
Fortunately the FWC reported on their Facebook that all the manatees were given a health assessment and released back into the canal on Thursday. They also posted photos of the amazing rescue on their Facebook and Flickr accounts. The FWC is also using the incident to remind the public to call their wildlife alert hotline for similarly trapped or endangered animals at 888-404-3922.