The Seaworld crew spent two days looking for the Memphis manatee, and while they wouldn't say they were frustrated, it was evident on their faces.
"It's part of the job," said Sea World's Pedro Ramos. "You have to take your good with your bad, and unfortunately yesterday we didn't have any luck."
The Seaworld team is used to prolonged searches for manatees, which can be tough to find as they often only surface for air every twenty minutes.
"We get the rescue call, we go out, and when we get on site the manatee has moved," Ramos said. "Obviously these are animals that may be injured, but they'll still move around."
Usually the search team is working fairly close to Orlando, so they search day after day. "It's a lot easier to just come out the next day and the next day and the next day if we get called," Ramos said. "Memphis, the logistics makes it a lot harder."
Rescuers admitted it was hard not to get discouraged, but they always try keep their eyes on the ultimate goal: "The feeling of success and fulfillment when you rescue them," Ramos said. "When you rehabilitate them, and take him back out and release him, it's a great feeling, like you've actually accomplished something."
And who knows? Maybe the Memphis manatee will be end up in St. Louis, and Seaworld will get a second chance.