Florida police weren’t afraid to get wet to save the life of an exhausted manatee, which was struggling to stay on the surface to breathe, keeping its head above water for two long hours.
“This manatee is going to die right in front of us and I’m not going to let that happen! I docked the boat, took off my gear and got back in the water,” said Officer Gil Constant, according to a post from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.
In photos accompanying the post, the 2,000-pound marine mammal can be seen under the arms of two officers near a dock at the Key Shell Preserve in Florida.
According to information from the police force, published by the “New York Post” on Thursday, the exhausted manatee, which was trying to reach the shore, ended up giving up, letting itself float and somehow trying to breathe.
At the time, the unit’s two officers in charge of the marine and onshore environments had jumped into the water to assist him.
The mammals may have experienced starvation or toxins, both possible outcomes of harmful algal blooms, also known as “red tides,” according to US media.
At the same time, Florida waters will also see a sharp decline in their yield of seaweed, which these mammals consume, due to environmental devastation.
And the newspaper “New York Post” added that the law in Florida prohibits approaching or feeding manatees, whose population has been suffering from a sharp decline in recent years.