GOODLAND — Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute rescued a manatee in Shell Key Bay near Goodland on Tuesday.
Staff from the Rookery Bay Reserve, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and citizen volunteers helped FWC biologists and law enforcement officers pull the more than 8-foot, adult female aboard the manatee rescue boat.
After the rescuers brought the manatee to shore, they transported it to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for rehabilitation.
Biologists performed the rescue because of visible watercraft injuries. The manatee was listing to one side, which meant a punctured lung filled the body cavity with air. Fresh wounds on the manatee’s left side, may have resulted from an encounter with boat propellers and engines.
To report a dead or distressed manatee, call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). For more information on manatee research, visit http://research.MyFWC.com/manatee.