The Sun Herald newspaper reports a team from the Institute for Marine and Mammal Studies (IMMS) went out to locate a manatee Saturday morning that was spotted in a canal of the Jourdan River in Kiln on Friday.
IMMS Executive Director Moby Solangi said IMMS crew members along with a team from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Dauphin Island, Ala., left early Saturday around 7:30 a.m. CST and searched the canals of Jourdan River throughout the morning but did not see any sign of the animal.
Residents first spotted the manatee in the river Friday morning and it was later seen swimming up and down the river through the afternoon.
"It is very unusual to see a manatee swimming up the Jourdan River in Kiln," Solangi said.
Solangi said the manatee appeared to be in distress with what appeared to be some type of skin problem when it was spotted.
He said the manatee is out of habitat and should be inhabiting an environment with warmer waters in Florida during this time of year.
"The manatee could have drifted with the current," Solangi said.
IMMS officials have called off the search unless another sighting of the animal is reported.