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Last week a manatee in distress was assisted near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The marine mammal had a human life vest on its back and the strap was tangled around its midsection.
At first, police thought the vest was just a tracking device, but the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue realized that the animal was actually in legitimate trouble. They kept an eye on the animal until the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) team came to assist.
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While divers were unable to catch the manatee to set it free from the life jacket, the team eventually caught the animal with a net. Using group strength (three women and six men) and a tarp, they carried the manatee to a ramp.
There, FCW marine biologist Amber Howell was able to give the manatee, a juvenile male, a full checkup in addition to removing the tangled life jacket. The life vest hadn’t caused any permanent damage so after placing a tracker on the animal, they released him.
And so there was a happy ending for all involved, but it’s just another example of how human pollution and carelessness is affecting animals on land and sea.