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10 manatees visit Fla. beach for sex

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla., June 9 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said nine male manatees copulated with a female on a beach while surrounded by a crowd of human onlookers.

Jerry McIntee, deputy chief of the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea volunteer fire department, said evening beach-goers called authorities Sunday night with concerns about the group of 10 manatees gathered on the beach, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

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"This was quite the sight," McIntee said.

"We had our hearts in our stomachs," he added. "We thought we might lose 10 manatees on our beach."

McIntee said he contacted a marine biologist and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and both gave the same message to firefighters and police: Let nature take its course.

McIntee said the nine male manatees mated with their intended female and the animals left the beach with the tide.

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