University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus



Kierstyn Benjamin shares her story of how she noticed a small, distressed manatee in Bayboro Harbor and acted quickly, playing a major part in rescuing the animal on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Marine biology student helps rescue distressed manatee in Bayboro Harbor

Kierstyn Benjamin was doing homework in the library when she noticed a small manatee alone in Bayboro Harbor. When she went out to the water to examine more closely, she realized something was wrong. The USF St. Petersburg campus junior acted quickly, calling the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife Hotline that is used to report injured animals. 

Wildlife officials responded quickly to campus. After several tense hours trying to corral the distressed manatee into a boat and then on land, they were able to rescue and transport him to Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park where he is recovering. 

In this video, Benjamin shares her story of how the day unfolded and what it was like playing a part in rescuing a manatee. 

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