Manatee Rescued Off Cape Cod Returns to Florida

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jay Law checks the manatees condition in the HC-144 Ocean Sentry cargo area , Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The air crew from Air Station Cape Cod arrived at Groton-New London airport in Connecticut to transport the manatee to SeaWorld before being released to her natural Florida habitat. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J Groll)

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jay Law checks the manatees condition in the HC-144 Ocean Sentry cargo area , Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The air crew from Air Station Cape Cod arrived at Groton-New London airport in Connecticut to transport the manatee to SeaWorld before being released to her natural Florida habitat. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole J Groll)

MYSTIC, Conn. – The manatee rescued from waters off Falmouth last month has returned to the Sunshine State.

Washburn was flown by a Cape Cod Coast Guard crew from Connecticut to Florida yesterday.

The pregnant manatee was rescued from local waters before temperatures dropped too low and spent a few weeks rehabilitating at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.

International Fund for Animal Welfare Spokeswoman Kerry Brannon says several organizations, including IFAW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Mystic Aquarium and the U.S. Coast Guard, have worked hard to get Washburn home.

“This has been an amazing collaboration and certainly we wouldn’t have been able to rescue Washburn and get her where she needs to be without us all working together,” Brannon said.

A pregnant manatee peeks from her cage as she is offloaded at the Orlando International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. A Coast Guard air crew aboard an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Air Station Cape Cod partnered with multiple animal rescue teams to transport the manatee from Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut to SeaWorld in Orlando where veterinarians will provide care until she is ready to be released to her natural Florida habitat. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse

A pregnant manatee peeks from her cage as she is offloaded at the Orlando International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. A Coast Guard air crew aboard an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane from Air Station Cape Cod partnered with multiple animal rescue teams to transport the manatee from Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut to SeaWorld in Orlando where veterinarians will provide care until she is ready to be released to her natural Florida habitat. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse

Brannon said about 40 individuals worked to get Washburn to and on the HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft on Tuesday.

Washburn will spend one or two more weeks rehabilitating at SeaWorld before she is released back into the wild where she will likely spend her winter near Florida before giving birth sometime in the spring.

Brannon said researchers will continue to monitor the manatee after she is released.

“She’ll probably have a microchip,” Brannon said. “I think the Fish and Wildlife Service is going to affix a satellite tag for tracking as well.”

The manatee was named Washburn after being rescued off Washburn Island on September 22.

The manatee had been spotted in waters around Cape Cod for several weeks prior to being rescued.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter