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.
"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.