BOCA GRANDE, Fla.- The recent algae bloom known as red tide killed at least 270 manatees, but 15 were rescued and survived. Two are being released back into the wild today in Boca Grande.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its partners, transported 16 manatees to the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for critical care, where all but one survived.
Among the first to go home will be “Cida,” a 605-pound female who arrived March 22 from Placida Harbor. Cida will be the 176th manatee released after rehabilitation at the Zoo from a total of 320 treated, with 12 current patients.
A second manatee known as “Gibb,” a 1,058-pound male who received urgent care at the Zoo upon arrival on October 26, 2012 from Placida Harbor, will be released by staff at Sea World Orlando where he has been housed since March 6 to ensure the Zoo’s manatee hospital facility had space to accommodate critical care patients.