Audubon of the Western Everglades’ shorebird steward, Brittany Piersma was at Residents Beach at 6:30 Tuesday morning and noticed flashing lights at the entrance to Big Marco Pass. Through her bird scope, she could see two MIPD vehicles. A beachgoer informed Brittany that there was a stranded manatee. Immediately, Brittany walked over to the manatee location to make sure the appropriate Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) number had been called.
According to Piersma, it was important to keep the manatee in the water to minimize stress. Beachgoers helped out by using large cones filled with water and officers brought a tent to keep the manatee shaded from the sun. Hada Herring of FWC Wildlife Research Institute Field Lab drove from Port Charlotte to help with the rescue. Her team assessed the manatee and based on its condition, the team loaded the manatee into their truck to transport it to the Tampa Zoo for treatment and rehabilitation.
If anyone finds a stranded manatee, please contact Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife Alert Toll-Free Number: 1-888-404-FWCC.
Photos from MIPD Facebook