Parts of Florida are currently seeing record flooding after the state was pummeled by Hurricane Idalia early Wednesday. Even as conditions improved, many parts of the state remained ravaged by floodwaters. And the flooding was so deep in some parts that a manatee was spotted munching on one resident's fully submerged lawn.
"While the hurricane made landfall several hours ago … its affects are going to play out for a long time to come,” Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast told CNN around midday on Wednesday. "Where I’m standing right now could potentially be under six feet of water by the time we get the high tide [by late afternoon]."
The manatee sighting, however, came about 170 miles south on the western coast of southwest Florida in Port Charlotte, just off shore of a boat dock. The viral video was taken by local resident David Eisenhauer, according to Orlando's WESH 2 News.
"It's a manatee! Eating the grass, unbelievable. Unbelievable!" a woman is heard saying in the video. "We're trying to save the boat, and here's a manatee. He's not gonna get stuck, he's swimming. He loves it! He's having a little extra food."
The large, fully aquatic marine mammals sometimes referred to as sea cows are generally herbivores, with a diet that includes over 60 different freshwater and saltwater plants. So in other words, it tracks that—when given the opportunity—a manatee would graze on someone's lawn just like a deer, rabbit, or other common wild herbivore would.
By Wednesday evening, Idalia, now a Category 1 storm, was projected to make its way up the southeastern coast from Florida, where evacuations and closures are already in effect from Georgia up to the Carolinas.