WATCH: Donut the manatee released after recovering from cold distress

PALM BAY, Fla. — A manatee named Donut was released in Palm Bay Tuesday.

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Donut was rescued in January after he showed signs of cold distress at Manatee Lagoon.

Donut was brought to SeaWorld for rehabilitation. SeaWorld said the manatee gained more than 100 pounds since he was rescued. He now weighs 575 pounds.

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FWC said that now that he’s recovered, Donut will hopefully live a long and healthy life in the wild.

“Manatees are facing a lot of challenges still. It’s very important that everyone that we can rescue gets fully rehabilitated and ready for release. So the fact that this one is able to be released is a great turnaround story,” said Amber Howell, a FWC manatee biologist. “We want to make sure that as many as we can rescue get healthy and get released back into the wild.”

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If you see a sick, injured, dead or tagged manatee, keep your distance and call FWC’s wildlife alert at 888-404-FWCC.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.