2 rescued manatees to be released into wild after recovery

12:03 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
Gibb, a 1,058 pound manatee, is set to be released into the wild after rehabilitation at Lowry Park Zoo's David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital.
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Tampa, Florida-- Fifteen recently rescued manatees are soon to return to Florida waters after being affected by red tide. 

Each was transported to the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo after Florida Fish and Wildlife officials found them clinging to life from exposure to the toxin. Zoo reps say while they survived, red tide took the lives of 270 other manatees this year alone.

One of the first rehabilitated manatees making it back to her natural habitat will be "Cida". Zoo reps say the 605-pound manatee has been in their care since March, and will be the 176th to leave Lowry Park's hospital. 

A second manatee named "Gibb" will be released the same day. Gibb was in critical care at the zoo between October and March, but was transferred to Sea World Orlando after his health improved. The amusement park's staff will see him off.

The zoo has now taken in 320 manatees since 1991, and was honored with a "Significant Achievement in North American Conservation Award" for its work, presented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

10 News will keep you up to date as the 13 other rescues prepare for release. 

--Written by 10 News intern Stefantè Randall

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