Manatees stranded in golf course pond since Hermine, now rescued

Stranded manatees rescued

With tons of help an 1800-pound female manatee is pulled from the pond that hurricane Hermine left her stranded in.

"We got the biggest animal out of here which was a lactating female and her calf," said Andy Garrett, with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Both mom and calf were soon moved to a tent where veterinarians took over.

"We'll be taking blood and checking their blood panel, we check their fat thickness, we will weigh them," Garrett said.

Minutes later another manatee is netted. They have to move fast to not stress the animals. It's another calf, but rescuers decided to put the calf back in the water.
 
"To try to get the mother to vocalize with it to bring the mother back over."

The plan to lure momma worked. Nearly a hundred folks from state and federal agencies and local volunteers all pitched in to relocate the sea cows.

Fish and Wildlife says basically when Hermine's storm surge came in, it flooded the entire area here. This body of water flows to the bay and this body of water is a pond where the manatees ended up trapped and were unable to get through the bridge.

"We pretty much just encircle the animals, bag them in that middle part of the net and drag them into shore," Garrett said.

About a dozen kayakers went in the water slapping their paddles on the water.

"The kayaks right now are hoping to make noise here to push the animals down to where we have our nets set," said Garrett.

"Woe, woe, pull, pull," said the rescuers.

Another successful rescue with more to go.

In all seven manatees were rescued from the pond. They were in good health and returned to Kings Bay so they can now swim and eat freely.


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