Sully The Manatee Released Off Sandsprit Park In Stuart After 2015 Rescue From St. Lucie River
Sully the manatee is back in Martin County waters.
Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Miami Seaquarium released the 3-year-old manatee off Sandsprit Park in Stuart on Wednesday.
About 50 people, including handlers and media, gathered to watch the sea cow—which was rescued from the St. Lucie River in March 2015—make his way back into his aquatic home.
The male manatee was found suffering from cold stress, a potentially fatal condition that results from exposure to waters below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Initially weighing about 400 pounds, the emaciated manatee was put on antibiotics and other medications when he was placed under the care of vets at Miami Seaquarium.
Upon his release, Sully weighed a more sizable 855 pounds—a sign that he’s a good eater, a FWC representative said.
The Miami Seaquarium currently has another manatee, named Abigail, in its care. The female was rescued near Merritt Island in March 2013 and received treatment in Orlando and Cincinnati before arriving in Miami to get acclimated to the warm waters again. Her release date has not yet been set.
Check out photos from Sully’s loading and release in the photos below.
(Photos of loading courtesy Miami Seaquarium. Photos of release courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.)