Photo By Courtesy/MyFoxOrlando
Yikes! 19 of my manatee buddies got stuck in a Satellite Beach drainpipe as they headed for warmer water! The rescuers had to cut through the drainpipe to save my manatee friends. Many of the manatees had scrapes, cuts, and bruises on their bodies because they hit the drainpipe’s surrounding metal structure.
The folks at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said the manatees swam into the drainage system to get away from the dangerously cold waters of the Indian River Lagoon. As you may have heard, many strong cold fronts have been bleeding south into Florida this winter. As a result, the invading cold air chills down the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico waters. Since we manatees are warm-blooded marine mammals, we can’t survive water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don Hughes, the Satellite Beach Fire Chief said, “I wouldn’t even begin to venture a guess as to how they got into the drainage pipes. They will go wherever there’s warm water.” Ann Spellman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told Bay News 9, “These animals have gone several football fields up into the storm drain and they continue to go up until they get stuck.”
A crowd came over to watch the manatee rescue take place. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the fire company, and the police all helped as the heavy lifting equipment sure did its job!
Florida Manatees (that’s me J) are a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. We’re currently listed as “endangered” and are at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and death. Our exposure to cold stress, red tide, and other diseases are the natural challenges we face each day. The man-made issues facing us are; boat strikes, flood gates (or locks) and also getting caught and tangled up in fishing gear.
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here is a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation…
Here’s another awesome link to learn more about manatees…
~ Kobee Manatee