SAVANNAH, Ga. (WFLA) — An adult female manatee was rescued from a sandy berm in a man-made channel in the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge earlier this month.
The manatee was rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR).
The 10-foot manatee apparently tried to swim from the Little Back River into Rifle Cut during high tide when she got stuck and was left stranded when the tide fell.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is currently filling in Rifle Cut to create wetlands and enhance better river flow. The corps’ contractor for the project, Continental Heavy Civil Corp., were the ones who found the stranded manatee the morning she got stuck.
The crew kept the manatee wet until responders arrived.
When faced with the task of getting the extremely heavy creature back into the water, rescuers determined the best course of action would be to bring the water to the manatee.
To do so, a Continental employee used a bulldozer to dig a path from the river to the manatee, resulting in water flow. As the water poured in, the manatee was eased onto a stretcher and steered into the deeper water.
The manatee was unharmed during the process and is back to swimming up and down the Savannah River.