Rescued, rehabilitated manatee returned to wild in Florida
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A rescued manatee has been returned to the wild in Florida.
News outlets report Vilanzo was released Tuesday by his caretakers from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Ten staffers carried the more than 900-pound (400-kilogram) 10-foot (3-meter) manatee on a stretcher to water at an Intracoastal Waterway boat ramp.
Zoo curator of mammals Craig Miller says the young adult manatee recovered quickly during his eight weeks of care. He says Vilanzo had maybe suffered some kind of head wound and that zoo staff wondered if was struck by a boat.
Miller says Vilanzo was underweight and suffering from cold stress, dehydration and exhaustion when rescued March 18 at Vilano Beach. He appeared normal the day before when a whale aerial survey team saw him swimming near Jacksonville without visible injuries.