We continue to bring you all the breaking news on the animal uprising. Earlier this year we warned people near the Hudson River in New York that they were in imminent danger from a man munching manatee invasion. People thought we were a bit odd. Then the beasts turned up off the coast of Rhode Island. People whispered behind our backs.
Now it's Memphis, Tennessee's turn. Let's see you laugh this one off!
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A misdirected manatee apparently swam 700 miles up the Mississippi River to a chilly harbor near Memphis' downtown riverfront, prompting rescue plans by wildlife officials.
The docile, endangered marine mammal, about 8 feet long and 1,000 pounds, is far north of its natural range along the southeastern U.S. coast. Biologists have no idea how it got there and worry its health is failing because the species' digestive systems shut down in cooler water.
"We're working on a rescue plan and hope to have the animal rescued within the next 48 hours," Nicole Adiemy, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Wednesday. "Then we'll put it on a truck and haul it to Florida."
James Jackson alerted authorities to the manatee on Monday, a day after he and another fisherman spotted it in a shallow waterway near downtown. At first the two disagreed over whether it was a baby hippo or an alligator.
Adiemy said the plan was to catch the animal in a net, perhaps on Thursday, and take it to SeaWorld Adventure Park in Orlando, Fla., with help from park specialists.
Manatees normally are moving into Florida rivers this time of year, but not the Mississippi, said Pat Rose, executive director of the Save the Manatee Club in Maitland, Fla.
They're going to rescue it? Are they mad? What kind of people live in Tennessee these days? For heaven's sake people, I have a great recipe for manatee brisket around here somewhere. Just send a SASE and $29.95.