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‘Stranded high & dry’: Manatee rescued along a dirt road in Florida

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — A manatee was rescued this week after it was found stranded on the side of a dirt road, according to officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC said a juvenile male manatee was rescued and transported to SeaWorld after it was found beached next to a road near Crystal River.

READ: Manatee feeding program ready as winter tests survival

Officials said the manatee likely gained access to the road during a high-water event caused by a passing storm during high tide.

Once the water receded, the manatee became stranded, FWC said.

WATCH: Brevard Zoo collecting donations to establish dedicated manatee rescue team

Rescuers said in addition to being stranded, the manatee was underweight and had a healing wound on its side along with cold stress lesions on its body.

Records show that in 2021 more than 1,000 manatees died in Florida, which is the highest number recorded for a year in the state.

READ: ‘It’s heartbreaking’: What’s being done to curb record manatee deaths

The number one cause of death was starvation, above boating accidents, entanglements and cold stunning.

Anyone who sees an injured, distressed, sick or dead marine mammal is asked to call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

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