Four manatees were rescued after being stranded in marsh along the St. Johns River in the 4900 block of Toproyal Lane in Arlington on Monday afternoon (September 12, 2011).
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, residents and a team of marine biology students from Jacksonville University worked to relocate the manatees after low tide, which was at about 4:30 p.m.
"I got the call, came out here, thought, 'Wow, it’s only five minutes up the road here. The students are never going to get an opportunity like this, to get up close,' " said J.U Professor Gerry Pinto. "Some of them even got to do surgery on that last manatee."
Wildlife officials said they found six manatees when they got there, but two escaped back into the river on their own.
More than a dozen people helped to free the manatees, using a stretcher to carry the manatees back out to the river. Manatees weigh about 1,200 pounds on average.
Wildlife officials said three of the male manatees were likely pursuing the female manatee in a mating instance when they got stuck in the marsh.
Video links:
Local Students Help Rescue Manatees. Joining News4Jax to discuss is Dr. Quinton White from the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University. (No Longer Valid)​
Stranded Manatees returned Home. Four manatees are back in the water - and doing well tonight. They got themselves into trouble this afternoon - and needed help from Fish and Wildlife with Dr. Gerry Pinto, Research Sciencetist Manatee Study. (No Longer Valid)



Please take a moment to read the article - Dr. Quinton White at the Regency Library giving a presentation for the Native Plant Society on "Manatee in Northeast Florida" (11/18/2010). Scroll down this same link to view a couple of video's made by Larry Davis (TISIRI Team Member) snorkeling with the manatees.



The hotline number for the public to report manatee sightings, and/or request information and educational programs is 904-256-7575. To report dead, injured, and /or abandoned calf please also call The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Dispatch at 1-888-404-3922.  


Gerard F. Pinto, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University. Over the past decade, he helped to develop and implement State approved Manatee Protection Plans for Duval and Clay Counties.  He is a consultant to the City of Jacksonville Waterways Commission and conducts research to monitor manatee populations in northeast Florida.  Gerry has worked to raise public awareness about manatee issues through the Manatee Research Center Online (MARCO) web site, safe boating and speed zone advisory guides, educational seminars, TV and print media.  He conducts aerial surveys and manages a manatee Geographic Information System data base of aerial sightings. He has conducted research in habitat mapping for manatees and gopher tortoises, water quality monitoring, ecosystem restoration, vessel traffic and compliance studies, near water surface acoustical studies, and manatee scar patterns.  In addition, he has a background in fisheries and aquaculture and has conducted research, teaching or work on commercial fish production systems and marketing in the Caribbean, Kenya and the U.S.  Also, he is involved in the “State of the River Report for the St. Johns River” and gathered, evaluated data for, and authored the sections on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation and Federally Endangered & Threatened Species (Manatees, Bald Eagles, Wood Storks, Shortnose Sturgeon, Piping Plover, Florida Scrub-jay and Eastern Indigo Snake). His future research interests include fisheries sampling and the impact of freshwater withdrawals, sea level rise and harbor deepening activities on the flora and fauna of the Lower St. Johns River Basin.


1993 Ph.D. (Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
1991. (Master of Aquaculture), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
1988. B.S.  (Fishery Science), Plymouth Polytechnic, Plymouth, England

Associate Research Scientist
Marine Science Research Institute
Jacksonville University
2800 University Blvd. N.
Jacksonville, FL 32211-3394
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: (904) 256-7338
Fax: (904) 256-7573
Manatee Hotline: (904) 256-7575