Stranded Manatee Returned to Water With Help From Clearwater Police

A nearly-11-foot manatee found stranded on an island in coastal waterways near Clearwater, Florida, was safely released back into open water on Tuesday, September 19, officials said.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and local police officers were involved in the rescue, the Clearwater Police Department said.

The adult female manatee was found on Bird Island, south of Clearwater Memorial Causeway, and was carried on a fabric stretcher back into the Intracoastal Waterway.

Local media said the manatee weighted about 1,000 pounds, and police footage shows it took about a dozen people to carry it into the water.

The FWC said Tuesday that it had been rescuing multiple manatees affected by Hurricane Idalia over the past few weeks. They included five manatees trapped in a residential canal system in Fort Myers, a mother and her calf trapped behind a spillway in Cape Coral, and another manatee stuck in a cemetery pond in Largo, the agency said. Credit: Clearwater Police via Storyful

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