What are you supposed to do if you spot a stranded manatee or other stranded marine mammals in Florida?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has issued a warning to the public to report the stranded mammals instead of trying to help them back in the water.
If you spot a stranded mammal, the FWC says to keep a safe distance and call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (press 7 to speak with an operator) as soon as possible.
The stranded mammals could be sick or injured and pushing an animal back to sea could delay or hinder the chance for rescue teams to assess and provide treatment if needed.
The FWC wants to remind all residents and visitors that marine mammals are federally protected and should not be touched or harassed. The mammals could be capable of powerful and unpredictable moves.