Florida manatees are listed as endangered, and it’s illegal to interfere with them.
A young manatee calf was rescued from the surf on St. Augustine Beach Monday morning.
Beachgoers reported the manatee to the St. Augustine Beach Turtle Patrol as well as Florida Fish and Wildlife.
Tara Dodson, St. Johns County Environmental Supervisor, said the manatee has been spotted several times since Saturday and is thought to be an orphan.
The manatee was alive and breathing, and patrol members kept it shaded and hydrated as they waited for Florida Fish and Wildlife to come pick it up, Dodson said.
Related: Baby manatee with no mommy rescued near FPL’s Manatee Lagoon (Video)
Michelle Kerr, a spokesperson with FWC, said the marine mammal rescue team transported the 62-pound manatee to SeaWorld for medical care.
“It was a male, very young, only a few weeks old. It was thin and appeared to be malnourished,” Kerr said. “It’s hard to speculate what happened to the mother.”
Manatee babies typically stay with their mothers for one or two years after birth. The animals are listed as endangered, and it’s illegal to interfere with them.
Kerr said if a beachgoer sees a marine mammal in distress, they should not push it back into the water. Call the FWC for help instead at 888-404-3922.
This story originally published to staugustine.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.