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A manatee success story

This past January, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership released a rehabilitated female manatee into Manatee Lagoon, an FPL Eco-Discovery Center. Volunteers released the manatee into the outflow area next to the facility after she spent time recuperating at Sea World.

Now named Aiya, the manatee calf was found last February beached and unresponsive near Fort Pierce. Jean Claude Dib, who found the thin and distressed-looking sea cow, called FWC. He joined volunteers and other onlookers to see Aiya released back into the wild.

“It was really great seeing this full story 'til its end and seeing Aiya back in her natural habitat,” said Dib.

Amber Howell from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission explained why Aiya was released into Manatee Lagoon.

“We picked Manatee Lagoon here in Riviera Beach because it’s the closest warm water site where we know manatees are aggregating this time of year with the water being a little colder than usual,” she said.

Aiya is now tagged with a satellite tracker for monitoring.

Wildlife officials say if you see a beached manatee, you should not try to push it back into the water. Instead, immediately call FWC.