VIDEO: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Releases Rehabbed Manatee Back Into the Wild

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Team Effort to Rescue Manatee in Storm DrainToday is #EndangeredSpeciesDay, which makes it a perfect day to share this incredible footage from a manatee rescue earlier this week in Fort Lauderdale! On Tuesday, our FWC manatee rescue team and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue staff rescued a female manatee that was first discovered Monday afternoon swimming inside of a storm drain along the Tarpon River in Fort Lauderdale. An FWC biologist arrived on scene Monday to assess the situation, and determined the manatee was not in immediate danger but had some fresh scrapes from traveling through the pipes connecting the river to the stormwater system. FWC biologists decided to plan a rescue operation for Tuesday, and they consulted the local Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue unit given the unique nature of the stranding situation and the potential complexity of a manatee extraction from the well. FWC biologists and the fire rescue team crafted an extraction plan Tuesday morning, and biologists instructed Special Operations staff in manatee handling and gave them a manatee stretcher. With instruction from FWC manatee biologist Amber Howell, the Special Ops crew was able to get the manatee into the stretcher and hoist it 10-15 feet up into the well house where the fire department crew and our biologists unhooked the stretcher and brought the manatee to a foam pad outside the well house. Biologists performed a routine assessment and consulted with Miami Seaquarium vet staff, and the team noticed that the manatee had scrapes on its nose, flippers, sides and appeared somewhat thin. The manatee was loaded into the FWC manatee transport truck and taken to Miami Seaquarium for further evaluation and treatment, and it’s now recovering at Miami Seaquarium.We’d like to thank everyone involved for a job well done, and to report a sick, injured, dead, or tagged manatee in Florida waters call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Toll-Free Number at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).Activities were conducted under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit # MA770191Video Credit: Liz Barraco and Tom Reinert, FWC

Posted by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on Friday, May 15, 2015

ABOVE VIDEO: Footage of the manatee being rescued on May 12. 

( – Back in May, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine mammal research rescue team and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue emergency responders, rescued an adult female manatee that was entrapped in a storm water culvert off New River in Broward County.

After five months of rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium, the healthy manatee was released at George English Park in Fort Lauderdale.

At the time of rescue, she weighed approximately 300 pounds but when she was released she weighed a hearty 500 pounds.

The rescue, rehab and release of this manatee was an all around team effort, and the FWC wants to thank all of their staff and partners for a job well done.

After five months of rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium, the healthy manatee was released at George English Park in Fort Lauderdale. (FWC Image)