Floridians Help Rescue Manatees Stranded by Hurricane Irma

Posted by Jason Sarna
Manatees
Photo by Marcelo Clavijo via People Pets

No manatee left behind.

On Sunday, Michael Sechler and several of his friends came across two beached manatees in none other than Manatee County, Florida.

The manatees were in a bay where the water receded from Hurricane Irma. One of the manatees wasn’t moving and the other was breathing and had water in its eyes.

#Irma has started here in Florida. Went out to the bay and saw two objects out where the water receded, so we took off…

Posted by Michael Sechler on Sunday, September 10, 2017

According to People Pets, Sechler and his friends, along with several others, immediately went to work on saving the animals. However, there were not enough people to pick up the manatees and move them to safety.

Sechler posted about the manatees on social media, and news of the stranded mammals quickly spread.

“Everybody was instantly engaged. People were making sure that the posts were public and tagging people who might be able to help,” Sechler said. “These were people hunkering down, waiting for the worst, yet they still wanted to help out.”

Among the many people who headed out to the bay to help out was Mario Clavijo.

“I could see two manatees and thought, the tide must have just gone out so fast that they got caught. I felt obligated to get out there to help – I couldn’t just leave them out there to die on the sandbar,” he told PEOPLE.


The group was able to roll the manatees up in a tarp and carry them to a place where they could enter the water once more.

Clavijo captured the part of the rescue effort on video and posted it to his Facebook page, where it has nearly eight million views!

Posted by Marcelo Clavijo on Sunday, September 10, 2017

 
Thanks to the efforts of all of these Good Samaritans, the manatees were able to swim away unscathed from Hurricane Irma.

“They swam off. You could see them out there bobbing along. Once they were swimming away, it felt great. Everyone was happy as could be,” Clavijo said.

Have you ever rescued a wild animal? Let us know in the comments section below?

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Floridians Help Rescue Manatees Stranded by Hurricane Irma