Rescue workers in Satellite Beach, Fla. hoisted 19 manatees from a storm drain system, after the animals swam into the drain seeking warmth during a recent cold spell in the area.
After excavating the ground to access the pipe system, the rescue team used a backhoe to lift the manatees out one by one from the 36-inch drain.
The manatees likely ended up in the drain system after leaving nearby Indian River Lagoon, CBS News reports. Water there had become much too chilly, with a recent spate of cold in Central Florida. The animals followed one another into the drain and then had no way to turn around and get out.
"I wouldn't even begin to venture a guess as to how they got into the drainage pipes. They will go wherever there's warm water," Satellite Beach Fire Chief Don Hughes told CBS News.