KILN – (AP) Would-be rescuers have been unable to find a manatee that was spotted in the Jourdan River in the Kiln area.
A team from the Gulfport-based Institute for Marine and Mammal Studies searched for the marine mammal earlier this month.
The organization’s executive director, Moby Solangi, told The Sun Herald that the group will respond again if the manatee is seen. The manatee was spotted on Jan. 4. Solangi said pictures indicate the manatee was sick and in distress.
Solangi said an IMMS team searched Jourdan River canals throughout the day on Jan. 5. He said the manatee is out of habitat and should be in warmer waters in Florida this time of year.
A team from Alabama’s Dauphin Island Sea Lab was also present in the search.
“It is very unusual to see a manatee swimming up the Jourdan River in Kiln,” Solangi said.
Dolly Lee, a resident of the Jourdan River Shores community in Kiln, said she thought the manatee was a large log in the water.
“It started blowing water out of its nose,” Lee said. “I realized it was a manatee.”
Lee has lived in Jourdan River Shores for six years and has never seen a manatee there.
“The manatee has been swimming up and down the canal all afternoon,” Lee.