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Manatees rescued after Hurricane Irma left them stranded on Florida beach

Low tide created ahead of the storm's approach receded Sarasota's bay, stranding a pair of manatees.
/ Source: TODAY

Two manatees were beached along Florida’s Sarasota Bay when Hurricane Irma sucked water from their usual home and left them stranded in knee-high mud.

Several people posted photos of the animals that were stuck on the shore Sunday during a low tide created just before the hurricane made its way up the Florida coast and slammed into the Sarasota region.

“One wasn't moving, the other was breathing and had water in its eyes. My friends and I couldn't move these massive animals ourselves, and we called every service we could think of, but no one answered,” Michael Sechler wrote on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Another person who spotted the mammals said he joined a community rescue effort in which several people eventually rolled the manatees onto tarps and then dragged them about 100 yards into the water.

“It was a pretty cool experience,” Marcelo Clavijo wrote in his post, which included a video and a series of photos. "Now back to reality of a hurricane coming.”

Clavijo's post has since been shared more than 70,000 times.

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