Sea World Sending Team to Help with Memphis Manatee

OCTOBER 25, 2006 - Posted at 11:14 a.m. CDT

MEMPHIS, TN - Sea World is sending a team to help advise state and local Memphis officials what to do with a manatee that showed up in the Wolf River Harbor over the weekend.

Officials say the animal, also called a "sea cow," is underweight and is caught in dangerously chilly water.

Researcher Andy Kouba of the Memphis Zoo says manatees do poorly in water below 66 degrees.  Harbor temperature readings range from 60 to 64.

The Harbor Patrol is trying to keep track of the manatee and the Coast Guard has restricted boating in the harbor.

However, hundreds of people, some in kayaks, have come to the harbor to get a look at the creature.

Wildlife officials say they have no idea why the animal apparently swam up the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)