Recovered manatee released into water

Posted at 3:05 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 16:32:47-04

An injured manatee is back in the water after a long rehab.

Jellybean spent the past 18 months at the Miami Seaquarium. 

He was first spotted in Tequesta in January of last year, and later rescued in Boynton Beach.

The juvenile manatee had chronic infections from injuries suffered during a number of watercraft collisions.

He was found floating sideways and having trouble swimming.

Monday afternoon, a crowd gathered at Jonathan Dickinson State Park to see him off.

“Since the manatee was initially seen in Tequesta, we wanted to release him somewhere local where the manatee habits.  This area at Jonathan Dickinson is perfect because it’s far away from boat traffic. It has a lot of time to acclimate before it gets back into that heavy boat traffic,” said Amber Howell with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Florida manatees are considered endangered.

Biologists say Jellybean, now a healthy 750-plus pounds, should find plenty of sea grass to feast on in the Loxahatchee River.