Manatee pulled from waters after becoming tangled in life jacket
After an afternoon of getting chased up and down the Intracoastal Waterway, a manatee tangled in a bright orange life jacket was hoisted from the water Wednesday.
It took eight people to lift the roly-poly sea cow from the water onto a boat dock where the life vest was removed.
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission examined the sea mammal and took pictures before lowering it back into the Intracoastal.
A Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crew aboard a fireboat first spotted the distressed animal at about 11 a.m. in the Intracoastal Waterway south of Sunrise Boulevard.
“The chase has been going on for ... hours,” said Battalion Chief Greg May. “Every time we get close, it’s frightened so it takes off.
By about 2:30 p.m. when the manatee was in the waters off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, the FWC took over the rescue effort.
How the manatee ended up in a life jacket is unknown.
“It could have swam into it nose first,” May said.
Dr. Magdalena Rodriguez, a veterinarian with Miami Seaquarium, said body entanglement is a real problem and if the life jacket hadn’t been removed it could’ve started growing into the manatee’s body.