Injured manatee found in So. Fla. canal
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- The search for an injured manatee that began in the Space Ghost ended Friday in a South Florida canal.
Residents of the Deerfield Beach neighborhood where the marine mammal was found around 4:30 p.m. helped Florida Fish and Wildlife officials retrieve the injured animal from the canal.
The manatee had been injured Thursday by a boat near Vero Beach and got away from an FWS crew attempting to rescue the animal. Officials tracked the creature's progress until it wound up in the Deerfield Beach canal.
"They had to kayak on the water, then forced it gently onto the net, and then got it up and positioned it to pull it out of the water," recalled Darren Sonderfan, who witnessed the scene.
"The rescuers were in the water, and they were trying to hold it up and had the nets underneath, and they were getting ready to lift up, and that's when we realized we had a few of our neighbors out here," said Vicki Karlin.
"There must have been about 40 neighbors altogether," observed Michael Lubin, another resident.
Anthony Karlin noted that the manatee's injuries were so severe that the animal hardly struggled when rescue crews handled him. "It was really sad, because it was just like, the manatee got hit, [and the injuries were] really deep, like a good three inches deep in its body. It looked like it was in so much pain, and it was barely even moving," he said.
Neighbors estimated the manatee is nine feet long and was so heavy that it took dozens of them to help FWS officials to place it on a blue tarp and then load it onto a truck.
The manatee was taken to the Miami Seaquarium where, officials said, it will be a long road to recovery for the sea creature.
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