HELPING an endangered animal make its way back to the ocean was the last thing Brenda and Les Irwin expected to do.
But it's the situation they found themselves in after they discovered a beached dugong on Burrum Heads Beach when walking their dog in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
"It's just as well he (Les) went walking early," Brenda said.
"We soon had gotten enough neighbours out of bed to help us keep him cool with buckets of water as the tide came back in."
It was a community effort as the Irwins and the neighbours of Burrum St worked to save the endangered animal.
A Marine Wildlife spokesman told the Chronicle it was important for any residents who encounter beached marine life to call RSPCA on 1800 ANIMAL.
We certainly encourage people to ring, there's risk of sharks waiting in the water or back injuries caused when trying to move the animals," he said.