MYSTIC, Conn. - A pregnant manatee that was rescued off Cape Cod was released into the wild in Florida on Tuesday after receiving care at SeaWorld.
The manatee, named Washburn after the Connecticut island where she was rescued, was flown down last week to SeaWorld in Orlando.
"We felt like on her own she wasn't going to make it home, her story wouldn't end well and so we wanted to give her the best chance," Terri Calleson from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.
Washburn was underweight and couldn't be released she gained more weight.
The manatee was released on Tuesday at River-Breeze Park in Oakhill, Florida.
"It's imperative we get her back out there. She's pregnant. We think gestation for manatees are around 12 months... estimation... she's about four months... so we want to get her out there as soon as we can," Calleson said.
Manatees are mammals and are sometimes referred to as "sea cows." Dale Wolbrink, a spokeswoman for Mystic Aquarium, said it is rare to see them as far north as New England.
The 800-pound Washburn was rescued on Sept. 22, as water temperatures were dropping below 67 degrees -- too cold for her to survive.
"We're very fortunate here we've given her the best chance of survival here and we're hoping for a happy ending," Calleson said.
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