SeaWorld, other organizations rescue 10 manatees from Cooper River

This photo from the rescue effort was provided by SeaWorld Orlando.

Several organizations worked together last week to rescue 10 manatees from the Cooper River. The rescue was organized by the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team.

The manatees were cold-stressed, making the endangered animals more susceptible to disease and sickness. In some cases, cold stress syndrome can be deadly.

Those behind the rescue say there were more than 30 people involved in the effort in Charleston and others like it. There were about a dozen organizations involved from Florida, South Carolina and even as far away as Pennsylvania.

“We know the temperatures are dropping. We know the rivers are already cold up there. If we can get to these animals before they get too cold, we might just be able to relocate them, and not have to bring them back into rehabilitation," said Jon Peterson, SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Manager.

Peterson said nine of the sea cows were safely relocated to warmer water and one was taken to the Jacksonville Zoo for care. (Video from the rescue provided by SeaWorld can be viewed above)

If you notice a manatee in South Carolina coastal waters, you are encouraged by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to report the sighting.

To report a dead or injured manatee in South Carolina, contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Melanie Olds at 1-843-727-4707 ext. 205.

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