FORT MYERS BEACH
One particular Florida manatee goes home for the holidays. A team released the manatee in Lee County on Monday morning in front of an eager audience.
The young female manatee, with injuries from multiple boat attacks and prop scars, was rescued by FWC near Fort Myers Beach Pier in October.
The SeaWorld team rehabilitated it and said goodbye to this manatee in a friendly manner.
Denise Boyd, a research fellow with the FWC Southwest Florida Marine Mammal Program, said, “Today we’re putting a manatee back into the wild.”
Mallorie McCormack is a seasoned zookeeper on the SeaWorld rescue team. She said, “She was really buoyant, she just floated high in the water.”
After getting much-needed grooming at SeaWorld in Orlando, she went neutral-tempered. It made it easy for her to climb up and down the water column, âMcCormack explained.
It is not an easy task. She is seven feet long and weighs nearly 400 pounds.
To the delight of Orange Harbor neighbors and visitors like 10-year-old Luca Meloni, it’s that she is finally home again.
âIt was really cool because you can just see that this is a rare opportunity. So all you see is a manatee coming in. It’s really cool, âhe exclaimed.
Just in time for the holidays.
If you see a distressed or dead manatee please call the FWC hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or call #FWC or * FWC from your mobile phone.
Prepare to provide information on the following questions:
- Is the Manatee Alive or Dead?
- When did you see the manatee?
- Where exactly is the manatee located?
- How long have you been watching the manatee?
- Approximately how big is the manatee?
- Where is the public boat ramp closest to the manatee?
- Does the manatee have a “tag” near its tail?
- Can you provide a phone number where you can be reached for further information?
After you have contacted the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, a manatee biologist will call you back at the number you provided. In the meantime, please take photos and / or video of the manatee to send to the biologist. This footage can help determine what is wrong with the manatee and / or identify the person by unique characteristics when they leave the area, before further investigations into their condition.
If you are unsure about how to contact the FWC, please check some of the reasons manatees are rescued.