Manatees stranded by Irma, rescued by Good Samaritans

(Photo: Michael Sechler)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the side effects of Hurricane Irma's arrival in Florida is its impact on wildlife.

Perhaps nothing illustrates that better than a still photograph taken by Michael Sechler, which shows a manatee stranded near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Winds carried by Irma caused waters in that area to recede completely, leaving the manatee and another one beached on a muddy patch of grass surrounded by shallow puddles.

"Went out to the bay and saw two objects out where the water receded, so we took off our shoes and walked out through the shells to find two beached manatees," Sechler wrote. "One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes."

"We gave them as much water as we could, hoping the rain and storm surge come soon enough to save them," he added.

Fortunately,  this story has a happy ending. Sechler says the manatees were rescued about two hours after he posted that photo on social media.