Crews rescuing manatees stranded in Lake Tarpon

- Florida Fish and Wildlife officers are tracking down several manatees today, hoping to finally rescue them from Lake Tarpon.

As many as four manatees have been stranded in the lake since Tropical Storm Colin's heavy rains caused flooding back in June.  Biologists believe the sea cows swam into Lake Tarpon through a water control structure at the southern end of the lake, and experts don’t expect them to be able to get out until next summer's rainy season.

"While there is plenty of vegetation in the lake for them to eat, biologists are concerned about the lack of warm water as winter approaches," an FWC spokesperson explained.

Teams of officers and volunteers have been keeping an eye on the manatees from boats and even aircraft.  Now they are working to rescue the animals.

By late afternoon, three juvenile males had been pulled out.  They were being examined by biologists, and if healthy, will be released into Tampa Bay.

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