Rare sight: Manatee in Chambers County

CHAMBERS COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- There was a rare sight along the Texas coast. A manatee has been spotted in Trinity Bay. Manatees are mammals, but are rarely spotted outside Florida and the East Coast. The Texas Gulf Coast waters are generally too cool for them at this time of year.

Marine experts from several agencies are joining forces to transport the manatee back to Florida Tuesday. He's been corralled down the coast until then.

Experts have identified this manatee based on scar patterns on its back. They say he came to Texas all the way from Tampa, Florida.

They're not sure why this manatee made the trip, but the Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Galveston has seen an increase in manatees along the Texas coast. And they say these waters in the winter are much too cold.

Heidi Whitehead, with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, explained, "That's why we're looking at trying to relocate the animal to warmer water and possibly to a rehabilitation setting so that we can assess the animal's condition better."

Experts say this male manatee is underweight and showing signs of stress from the cold.

Several agencies are working on this rescue. Equipment from Seaworld is being brought in overnight. Teams plan on loading up the manatee in a truck Tuesday and possibly making the drive to Florida.
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