Rehabilitated manatee re-enters the wild

A 900-pound manatee made a successful recovery after a boat crushed its vertebrae and nearly severed its tail.

The animal was rescued in Florida and cared for by animal workers for eight months until it was deemed able to dive, forage for food, and survive on its own.

Andy Rodriguez, chief operating officer of the Dolphin Research Center, spoke about the importance of saving manatees, “What we’re talking about here is a group of people that have come together to save one animal. Now this animal belongs to a species that is threatened today, so we need to save every single one. If we have to do it one at a time, we will.”

Manatees were reclassified on Thursday, going from an endangered to a threatened species. A good sign of population growth, but a reclassification that some feel offers them less protection.

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