FOX8/WGHP telethon raises over $122,000 for hurricane victims – help still needed

People rescue manatees stuck in bay drained by Irma

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Two manatees were rescued by Good Samaritans on Sunday after Hurricane Irma sucked the water out of a Florida bay and caused them to become stranded on dry land.

Michael Sechler said on Facebook that he and his friends went to a bay near Manatee County and found the manatees.

"One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes," the post read. "My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered."

He gave the manatees water to help, he wrote.

Another Floridian, Marcelo Clavijo, also posted about finding the manatees, saying the group put the animals onto tarps and dragged them into the water.

The viral Facebook post has more than 96,000 likes and 68,000 shares.

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.”

“Unfortunately with manatees, they are accustomed to being tidally stranded at times,” Gordon said. "We just let nature take its course."

Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm early Monday and has sustained winds of 85 mph with its center 25 miles northeast of Tampa.

The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people before it made two landfalls in the state Sunday.

The first one was over the Florida Keys, which Irma hit as a Category 4 hurricane. The second one, in Marco Island, left the island without water and power, authorities said.

Track Hurricane Irma’s path