FWC rescues manatee stuck in St. Pete bayou - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

FWC rescues manatee stuck in St. Pete bayou

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The manatee rescued from the water off 27th Avenue in St. Petersburg The manatee rescued from the water off 27th Avenue in St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) - A manatee that had somehow made it into a walled-off pond near Crab Bayou was rescued on Wednesday, heaved out of the water and driven a few miles away to be released.

The manatee had been in the pond for at least a week and a half, and crews from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had hoped he would climb out the way he may have gotten in.

“We actually think he came over the little wall during a high tide, and was able to just climb up and over,” said Andy Garrett of Florida FWC.

Ultimately, authorities on scene decided to undertake a rescue themselves.

After using a net to corral the animal, a team lifted him out of the water on a tarp. Kneeling around him, they checked him for any injuries, marked scars and implanted microchips.

The manatee, an adult male, appears to be in good condition, Garrett said.

He measured at 280 centimeters, or more than nine feet, long and is estimated to weigh 900 to 1,000 pounds.

The manatee was released into the water at Maximo Park, a few miles from the pond where he was found.

“Oh my gosh, it was amazing, it was just an amazing experience,” said St. Petersburg Police Officer Courtney Zak, who helped find the manatee after a teenager fishing in the area flagged her down for help. “It was neat to see you actually saved something.”

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