Wildlife officers and SeaWorld team up to help relocate a large manatee

Too big for the canal she called home

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. - Shortly before noon Friday, the canals north of Anchorage Park were bustling with activity, as Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers, and rescue crews from SeaWorld, searched for a nearly 2-thousand pound manatee. She had been released earlier this year.

"She looks very good. One of the reasons we do this is a health assessment on the animal. She's looking very well, so we're going to re-release her," said Steve Lehr, the Assistant Curator of Mammals at SeaWorld in Orlando.

The crews worked for hours to corral the nearly one-ton behemoth, and wrangle her into a boat.

"Unfortunately, with long-term captives, sometimes they need a little help afterwords, and that's...we've been watching her this whole time, keeping tabs on her...making sure she's staying healthy. We decided it was time to try and goose her along a little bit. To capture her, bring her to a little bit better spot and see how she does," said Tom Reinert, a research Administrator with Florida Fish and Wildlife.

The crews hauled the manatee south, to the Anchorage Park boat ramp, before using a crane to lift her into a waiting transport.

She was released in Macarthur State Park, where she will have access to a more abundant food supply.

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