Manatee released hours after being rescued from fishing line in Florida Keys

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 06:43:37-04

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — A sub-adult, nearly 800-pound male manatee nicknamed "Coco" has been released back to the wild, hours after being rescued in the Florida Keys.

Marine mammal rescuers from Dolphin Research Center removed the injured 9-foot-long manatee from a residential canal on Wednesday. The marine mammal's front flippers had been entangled in monofilament fishing line.

Veterinary specialists from the Miami Seaquarium, a manatee rehabilitation partner, removed the deeply embedded line, treated wounds with antibiotics and attached a microchip for future identification purposes.

Marine experts say the animal is functional and can survive on its own, demonstrating it can dive, stay submerged and forage for food such as water plants.