Pregnant Manatee Found off Cape Cod Released in Florida

PHOTO COURTESY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

PHOTO COURTESY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

FALMOUTH –The pregnant manatee named Washburn that was found in the waters off of Falmouth in September has released back into the wild.

Washburn was released in Florida waters on Tuesday nearly two months after being plucked from the waters by rescuers with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

IFAW officials said that Washburn spent about a month swimming in Nantucket Sound before she was rescued.

“For us, each individual animal matters, and of course the whole population does as well, and as an endangered species it’s important that Washburn was able to be rescued and is going back out to the wild,” said IFAW spokeswoman Kerry Branon.

She was brought to Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut for three weeks where they found out she was pregnant, and then a Coast Guard crew flew her down to Sea World in Florida for further rehabilitation.

Washburn was released in the northern section of Mosquito Lagoon which is located about an hour northeast of Orlando.

IFAW officials will still keep an eye on Washburn though.

“She has both a microchip as well as a satellite tag and so we’ll be able to track her progress,” said Branon.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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