Manatees seek refuge from cold water

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Rescuers worked late into the night freed 19 manatees that were stuck in a storm drain in central Florida.

Capt. Jay Dragon of the Satellite Beach Fire Department told the Tampa Bay Times early Tuesday that the 19 manatees were all alive and were returned to the Indian River Lagoon System.

The dramatic Florida manatee rescue is part of a winter reality shift in the Deep South.’

Seeking respite from a series of cold fronts battering the Sunshine State, the small herd of manatees were rescued with the careful maneuvering of heavy machinery, makeshift slings, even a fire ladder truck.

The Brevard County manatee rescue came just four years after a severe cold snap killed hundreds of manatees, not to mention millions of fish. Hundreds of cold-stunned sea turtles were also rescued during that cold snap – most were rehabilitated, but many also perished, according to a report by the Christian Science Monitor.