Tampa, Florida -- As the high tide and gusty winds continued to push the water of Tampa Bay over the Bayshore Boulevard balustrades, two juvenile manatees were found Monday night staying close to a much larger dead female manatee.
Photo Gallery: Stranded manatees found along Bayshore
The large female manatee was spotted near Tampa General Hospital by a man who stopped by Bayshore to take pictures of the flood.
It was first thought to be a mother manatee and her two calves.
Corey Catts told 10 News, "The water has about a four foot chop right against the seawall and the mother was getting banged against the seawall and at the same time, the babies at times were also getting banged against the seawall."
He called several friends to help and the Lowry Park Zoo, which told him to tie the mother manatee on a piling in the calmer waters near Tampa General Hospital until help arrived in the morning.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived on scene Tuesday morning and pulled the dead manatee out of the water. The animal's cause of death will be investigated.
The two juveniles appear to be old enough to be left on their own. FWC biologists say one appears to be about 10 feet long and the other about six feet long.
While the dead manatee appears to have been lactating, officials did not find any calves nearby.
FWC says it's possible the young male manatees were trying to mate with the large manatee.
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