A manatee found stranded in a canal near Moore Haven has a new home after being rescued by biologists from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
A SFWMD field crew working on the Lake Hicpochee restoration project, just west of Moore Haven and south of the Brighton Reservation, noticed the manatee in a 1.5-mile stretch of canal on Jan. 7. They called FSW and together, with some volunteers, were able to rescue the 1,300-pound female.
The manatee was trapped between two water control structures, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s office. It took about 20 people to lift the animal onto a powerlift and into the FSW’s Marine Mammal Rescue truck.
The manatee was successfully released into the safer waters of the Orange River in Fort Myers, not far from a Florida Power and Light plant on the Caloosahatchee River.