Volusia County

Manatee, calf released near Blue Spring State Park after months of rehabilitation

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Mandy the manatee and her calf Manilow are back home in the St. Johns River after months of rehabilitation.

Officials with the Save the Manatee Club said the pair were rescued from Blue Spring State Park in March after researchers noticed Mandy showed signs of emaciation.

READ: More than 800 manatees dead so far this year, Florida wildlife officials say

Officials said she was rescued by partners in the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership, along with her nursing calf, who was healthy. The staff at SeaWorld Orlando worked to rehabilitate her back to a healthy weight, and nicknamed her calf Manilow, after the Barry Manilow song “Mandy.”

The pair were released in the St. Johns River adjacent to Blue Springs State Park on Tuesday morning.

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The Save the Manatee Club and the Friends of Blue Spring State Park are raising funds to rebuild the park’s rescue and release area. The rebuild will include a new ramp, a large staging area for releases, and some interpretive panels to educate park visitors. Click here to donate.

READ: Six entrapped manatees rescued in Brevard County

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.