A rehabilitated manatee rescued from a storm pipe in Jacksonville was released Tuesday into the waters of Blue Springs State Park.
The manatee, named Venetia, was stuck in the pipe for hours before being rescued and transported to SeaWorld on Nov. 30.
SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team monitored her health and released Venetia with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Blue Springs is a winter refuge for the manatees from mid-November through March because the water temperature stays 73-degrees year round.
The Florida manatee is at risk for exposure to red tide, cold stress and disease. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by floodgates or locks and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, SeaWorld Orlando provides an acute care rehabilitation facility that gives life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.
Venetia is one of more than 29,000 ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals that SeaWorld has rescued during the past 50 years. She was the first manatee to be released in 2017.