CLEARWATER — At first, the calls to authorities Thursday evening seemed to indicate a group of manatees were in trouble — beached on the east side of the Courtney Campbell Parkway.
People were stopping their cars and parking along the road to get a better look. Clearwater police summoned staff from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who determined the manatees weren't in distress at all.
Quite the opposite: They were mating. There were up to 10 of them, Clearwater police said in a post to their Facebook page Thursday night.
Aquarium officials asked officers to secure the waters so the manatees would be protected from all the gawkers.
Officers unraveled crime scene tape along the waterline to give the manatees some privacy.