VIDEO: Crews rescue mother, baby manatee in Clearwater

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Crews with the Clearwater Police Department and the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department helped rescue a distressed manatee and her calf on Friday afternoon.

The mother manatee was seen in the waters of Stevenson Creek near the intersection of Betty Lane and Overlea Street. Wildlife experts from FWC and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium responded to help the adult female, who also had a calf with her.

Workers were able to contain them in an area of the creek and then move them carefully to shore. The baby was lifted out by workers using a stretcher, but the mother was too heavy to lift out the same way.

That’s where a front-end loader from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department came in handy.

Brian DeWitt, who works for parks and recreation and is a former Clearwater Police officer, gingerly lifted the manatee from the water with the front-end loader. Clearwater Police Officer Tyler Rydlewski assisted with getting water to keep the manatees cool.

The two manatees were then loaded into a special truck for transportation to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

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