DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A manatee mama and calf, stuck in a Daytona Beach retention pond for about a week, are free, Florida wildlife workers believe.
- Manatees stuck at Halifax Harbor Marina
- Likely slipped into pond because of Dorian tides
- PREVIOUS STORY: Pair of Manatees Stuck in Structure at Halifax Marina
It involved a day-long effort that included bringing out a barge to remove some of the pond's wall panels.
The mom and her baby have been stuck in this area of the Halifax Harbor Marina since at least Thursday. They likely slipped in there when the tides were so high because of Hurricane Dorian.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officals kept an eye on them and said they were doing well.
“We’ve had staff here daily, our partners here daily checking on the manatees," said Nadia Gordon with FWC Marine Mammal Research. "Mom has been feeding on algae, calf feeding on mom, but I am sure mom is hungry and ready to get back out.”
Dozens of onlookers had their eyes glued on the retention pond — waiting for the pair to leave.
“I just want to see them get out of here. I was watching the mother try to get over the wall and it’s sad,” said onlooker Denise Puterbaugh.
After hours of work, kayakers believe they coaxed the manatees out of the pond. While no one saw them go, after a long observation, they say it's clear the pond is now empty.
The entire process will cost about $10,000. The design of this retention plan will now be reviewed to make sure this does not happen again.