FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A manatee rescued from a Florida storm drain in the community of Fort Lauderdale has been released back into the wild after spending five months recovering in the Miami Seaquarium.
Several media outlets report that the Florida firefighters who helped rescue "Piper" the manatee last May also helped with its release Wednesday in waters along Fort Lauderdale's George English Park.
During Piper's initial rescue, cranes and fire engines had helped pull the 300-pound manatee from a 15-foot-deep pipe. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission then took the 1-year-old manatee to the Miami Seaquarium for a medical evaluation. The manatee had scrapes and abrasions on her face, flippers and body after the rescue.
Veterinarian Maya Rodriguez says the manatee has since recovered and gained more than 200 pounds.