Irma Leaves Beached Manatees Helpless, Then Good Samaritans Move 500-Pound Sea Cows To Safety

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

Hurricane Irma’s powerful winds drained Tampa Bay waterways — for 200 miles. The draining happened so quickly, manatees were left beached on muddy land.

Steven Reisinger, Michael Sechler, and Donavan Norton spotted two of those stranded manatees. They tried to move the massive creatures — but no luck.

“We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge [would] come soon enough to save them,” Michael wrote on Instagram.

They called every local organization they could think of.

“Believe me, we tried to move them,” he wrote. “But between [the manatees] weighing over 500 lbs and being stranded in almost mud-like sand, we couldn’t make it happen.”

Fortunately, Marcelo Clavijo and a group of Good Samaritans returned to the area and created a system to move the sea cows. Marcelo was feeling stir-crazy and decided to walk to the bay. That’s when he spotted the two manatees.

“With a handful of people and 2 of [Tampa’s] finest that were knee-deep in mud right next to us… we rolled them on the tarp and then dragged them 100 yards,” Marcello said.

The group filmed the unbelievable rescue that would save the lives of the displaced sea animals.

“[We] said ‘One, two, three’ and pulled them back to the channel. They both swam off,” Marcelo told FOX 13.

Please SHARE this wonderful rescue with your family and friends on Facebook!

If you’re looking to help the victims of the recent hurricanes, consider donating to the Red Cross, or take a look at these eight ways you can lend a hand.

Image Credit: Instagram / Michael Sechler 

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