FWC rescues Manatee, releases into the Caloosahatchee River

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Manatee stuck in a canal. (Credit: WINK News)
Manatee stuck in a canal. (Credit: WINK News)

A manatee stuck in a Fort Myers canal was removed Monday afternoon by Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission. Now, the manatee has been released back into the Caloosahatchee River.

Wes Weigel, who was on his morning walk, called the FWC when he saw the manatee submerged.

“I made a comment looking at the drainage ditch, ‘oh there’s a beached whale over there,'” Weigel said. “Sure enough, all the sun you see the flipper and you say, ‘that’s a manatee.'”

FWC responded to the trapped manatee, in a canal near the 12000 block of Brantley Commons in Fort Myers, Monday morning. The submerged gentle giant was stuck in a gunky canal with half its body noticeable as grassy banks nearby on its sides.

Following the removal of the more than than 500-pound sea animal from the canal, the FWC’s manatee rescue team planned to transported it to Sea World for further evaluation. But halfway towards Sea World, the manatee started moving normally and the crew updated their plans.

It is now swimming freely in the Caloosahatchee River.

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