Rescue team releases rehabilitated manatee in Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Rescuers from The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens released a manatee that was rescued from a Volusia County waterway in August.

The 645-pound manatee, whom rescuers named Lusia, was brought to Manatee Critical Care Center at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens after being struck by a boat.

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At the time of her rescue, Luisa was suffering from a collapsed lung and several fractured ribs.

On Saturday, an injured manatee was rescued and brought to our Manatee Critical Care Center. The female is estimated to...

Posted by Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Friday, August 28, 2020

“The injury to the manatee’s lung caused air to be trapped in her body cavity, keeping her buoyant on her left side,” said Craig Miller, curator of mammals and leader of the Marine Mammal Response Team.

READ: November is Manatee Awareness Month: Manatees are on the move!

Miller said he believes Lusia was found more than a week after being injured.

After spending three months at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens being treated for her injuries and putting on weight Lusia was brought to Daytona Beach and released back into the wild.

According to data from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, approximately 25-30% of manatee deaths statewide are attributed to watercraft.

You can read more about boating safety and manatees here.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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