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Entrapped manatees rescued in Merritt Island after Tropical Storm Eta

High water levels caused sea cows to get stuck

Two manatees that became trapped at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge after Tropical Storm Eta have since been rescued.
Two manatees that became trapped at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge after Tropical Storm Eta have since been rescued. (Florida Fish and Wildlife)

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – A pair of manatees that got stuck in culverts after Tropical Storm Eta brought rain to the area have since been rescued and are now being monitored.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said higher than usual water levels caused the two adult sea cows to get stuck in culverts at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

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Staff members at the refuge removed boards in order to free the manatees and allow them to swim back into the waterway on Friday.

The duo will be monitored in the coming days to determine if they will roam out of the area on their own. If not, FWC’s manatee rescue team will capture and relocate the pair.

“Manatees can become stranded or trapped during and after a hurricane or tropical storm. Manatees stranded by storms may need medical attention by wildlife experts,” the wildlife agency wrote in a Facebook post.

Anyone who encounters a stranded, trapped, injured or dead manatee can call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.


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