Manatee remains in Wolf River Harbor as officials wait for rescue team

Aerial view of the Manatee taken Tuesday from Chopper 5.
Aerial view of the Manatee taken Tuesday from Chopper 5.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A manatee who has made a special trip 720 miles up the Mississippi River to Memphis is attracting crowds of onlookers.

The manatee was spotted yesterday in the Wolf River harbor just north of the densely populated downtown area.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials concede they have limited experience with manatees. They are standing guard over the wayward animal, keeping tourists and boaters from getting near.

Tuesday a small crowd of spectators had gathered on a bank above the harbor, many with binoculars. Officials are waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to organize a team to move the manatee out of the cold waters.

Alan Peterson, a wildlife biologist, said the manatee was showing signs of stress Tuesday and it's respiration rate was higher than they hoped.

A cold front overnight left the harbor's temperature at 65 degrees around midday, but that's a few degrees warmer than the river.

The U.S. Coast Guard has agreed to secure the harbor overnight to keep people from upsetting the animal.

Click on the featured video link to see video recorded from Chopper 5.

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