A manatee named Lusia was released in the ocean on 19 November just in time to celebrate Manatee Awareness Month. She is the third of her species to be released by the Jacksonville Zoo in 2020.
The 4-year-old manatee was rescued by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission (FWC) back in August. According to a press release by the Jacksonville zoo, Lusia was “found floating buoyant on her left side”. She had suffered a lot of injures including a “linear wound across her back, fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung.”
The manatee was taken to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Manatee Critical Care Center and stayed there for 3 months. The Center provides life-saving treatments to the rescued manatees. This rehabilitation is considered the biggest in the area and has cared for 23 manatees and released 16 of them since opening.
Now, Lusia has finally been released in Daytona Beach!
Craig Miller, the Curator of Mammals at Jacksonville Zoo said, “When we received Lusia, we were guarded about her survival due to the extent of her injuries. Our Vet team started supportive care right away and eventually worked to alleviate the trapped air from her punctured lung. And our keeper staff continually cared for and monitored her. She maintained a good appetite and behavior overall, which helped in her recovery.”
Further adding, “It’s great to finally release her. And we hope Lusia’s story reminds all of us boaters to remain aware of manatees and other marine life out on the water.”
Manatee Awareness Month
Manatees in Florida have been suffering risk from both natural and human threats. Many Zoos, Aquariums and non-profit organizations have been working for the betterment of the species. They released Lusia during Manatee Awareness Month to spread awareness about them and to make sure people do not injure or hurt any more of them while in the water.
We hope Lusia the manatee enjoys the rest of her life in the ocean!