ORLANDO, Fla. - Buckeye, a rescued manatee found in 2015 and returned to the wild, has been recovered and returned to SeaWorld again, one year after being released back into local waters.
SeaWorld officials said Buckeye was returned to a critical care facility after teams noticed an unaccountable weight loss.
Buckeye was originally rescued by SeaWorld Rescue Team crews in Daytona Beach after he was found orphaned and underweight.
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Officials said after two years of rehabilitation and bottle feedings, Buckeye had grown to more than 600 pounds, considered to be a healthy weight for a juvenile male manatee.
After time at the Jacksonville Zoo as part of SeaWorld’s Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Program, in 2017, Buckeye was moved to Blue Springs State Park.
Crews monitoring the health and number of manatees in the area noticed some troubling signs with Buckeye’s weight, and the decision was made to recover Buckeye again for continued recovery efforts, officials said.
SeaWorld officials said due to issues including cold stress, red tide, and entanglement, last year crews assisted 72 manatees.
Officials said they hope to have Buckeye cleared to return to Blue Springs in the near future.
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