Stranded manatees move to deeper waters

By Chris Robbins, Evening newscast producer, crobbins@wjxt.com
Published On: May 17 2014 08:28:57 PM EDT
Updated On: May 17 2014 11:15:13 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A group of manatees are back in the St. Johns River after getting stranded in the Fort Caroline area.

Viewers called Channel 4 Saturday afternoon saying about 15 manatees were stuck in muddy waters that were about 1 foot deep in the St. Johns River near Fulton Road.

Around 9:30 p.m., Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission called Channel 4 and said the manatees went back to deeper waters on their own.

Nadia Gordon with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it may be a startling sight to some, but in reality, it's common. She said these manatees likely stranded themselves during a mating herd.

Gordon said the situation could have been more dangerous in hotter temperatures.

"It is more difficult for them to move in the mud, they're able to walk in their pectoral flippers. But honestly, the tide will come around and the tide will come in. You know, it's not too hot out right now, the sun is going down."

Lee Satterfield lives in a home off Fulton Road, near where the manatees were spotted.

"It's kind of disheartening to see that. It's kind of sad," he said.

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