After more than two years of care at Miami Seaquarium, an orphaned Manatee is being released back into the sea at the Calousa Campgrounds in Key Largo.
"Rae" was first rescued in the waters near Murray Government Center in Key Largo in 2012. Back then, Rae weighed 55 pounds and had been observed for several days without her mother.
Now, after successful rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium, Rae is heading back out to sea at a very healthy 675 pounds.
As a part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, Miami Seaquarium provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.
Manatees are an endangered species from both natural and man made causes of injury and death. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are all natural problems that affect the manatee population.
Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and becoming entangled in or ingesting fishing gear.
Anyone who notices a manatee in distress is urged to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Alert hot line at 888-404-FWCC.