Manatee Watches Over Stranded Dog

A caring manatee keeps watch when a dog gets stuck in the Hillsborough River in Tampa.

By | Posted: September 23, 2014, 4 p.m. PST

When the Tampa Police got called to the rescue of a stranded dog they didn't know an undercover agent was already on the scene.  

"Remember the dramatic rescue of the pooch in the water yesterday?" Tampa Police posted on their Facebook page. "Officer Jodie Maxim captured this amazing photo of the kindness between animals. While setting up the rescue operation, look closely, this manatee kept our scared, wet pup company until TPD Marine Patrol could complete the rescue. You don't see that every day, and it's a great reminder... the importance of kindness." 


Residents in a Tampa neighborhood heard unusual noises coming from the Hillsborough River last week night and in the morning discovered a dog, named White Boy, trying to climb out of the river.

"They’re curious by nature so I’m sure the the sound of the dog splashing in the water trying to get up the sea wall got his attention and he came over to investigate, maybe calm the dog and tell him it was going to be alright,” Officer Randy Lopez, a 30-year veteran of the department’s Marine Patrol Unit, told ABC News.

Once help arrived, the manatee gave a flutter of his tail and went on his way. It's unclear how long the two were in the water together, but it was clear that the manatee knew what he was there for.

White Boys paws were scratched from the cement he was hanging on to, but he was otherwise uninjured. He was reunited with his owner after the 20 minute rescue effort. 

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