SeaWorld, FWC release 950-pound manatee into the wild after storm drain rescue


ORANGE CITY, Fla. - Staff members from SeaWorld and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation released a 950-pound manatee Tuesday that was rescued last year after being trapped in a Jacksonville storm drain.

State wildlife officials said the female manatee was released into the water at Blue Spring State Park near Orange City.

The 9-foot-long manatee became trapped in November in a Jacksonville storm drain.

After being rescued by Jacksonville firefighters and staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the manatee was taken to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.

Manatee rescue: Raw video | Photos | Orlando arrival

The manatee was not seriously injured when it was stuck, but SeaWorld rescuers made sure it made a full recovery. SeaWorld employees gave the manatee fluids and basic supportive care.

“Manatees are amazingly tough animals,” SeaWorld Rescue spokeswoman Stacy DiRocco said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.