A group of Florida residents came across two beached manatees Sunday afternoon in a bay that had dried up as a result of Hurricane Irma.
The U.S. Hurricane Center has sent out an urgent alert warning of a "life-threatening storm surge inundation of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) above ground level" and telling people to "MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!".
Michael Sechler wrote of how he had to call in for help after seeing the creatures as they were too heavy to move back out to deeper water.
One of the stranded manatees was found in shallow pools of water in Sarasota Bay..
He said he and "a couple of Manatee's finest" went into knee-deep mud, rolled the manatees onto a tarp and dragged them 100 yards back into the water.
A line of evacuees wait for food at the Braden River High School emergency shelter
Intrigued, Marcelo Clavijo and several friends went out for a drive to take in the odd sight of an empty bay. Clavijo wrote on Facebook that he came across the sea cows after he was getting "stir crazy" from the storm.
Clavijo pronounced it: "a pretty cool experience".
Nadia Gordon, a marine mammal biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told the Bradenton Herald that they are "not actually intervening at this point".
However, he said the commission is anxious that the manatees could end up in areas where they naturally wouldn't once the tide comes back, but he doesn't think they will get injured.
"We had to do something about it", said Tony Faradini-Campos of Sarasota. "I thought they (manatees) were done for", he said.