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FWC releases manatee in Cape Coral

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Aug 3, 2021

The FWC and Zoo Tampa released this manatee into the Caloosahatchee River on July 27 at Horton Park's boat ramp in Cape Coral. FWC PHOTO

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently released a manatee that had been rescued in Fort Myers in April, following three months of recovery.

Myerslee, an approximately 2-year-old male, was rescued on April 23 in the Orange River in Fort Myers. He was rescued due to buoyancy issues and was taken to Zoo Tampa for rehabilitation.

After three months of rehabilitation, he was released back into the Caloosahatchee River on Tuesday, July 27, at Horton Park’s boat ramp in Cape Coral.

If you see a marine mammal in distress, contact FWC immediately so trained professionals can assess the animal and give it the medical attention it may need. The FWC responds to reports of distressed manatees by investigating reports from the public and performs rescues for those animals in need of intervention. Call FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline: 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922), press “7” to speak with an operator.

Never push back a stranded marine mammal back out to sea if found stranded on the beach.

Ways you can help manatees:

* Observe manatees from a distance to limit disturbance. Disturbing manatees at their warm-water sites may cause them to leave these areas during the winter.

* Follow posted manatee protection zones.

* Wear polarized sunglasses to spot them moving, grazing and resting in the water.

* Keep a lookout for the circular “footprints” or ripples they leave on the surface of the water.

* Follow manatee viewing guidelines, and always observe manatees from a respectful distance.

* Don’t feed or water manatees. Doing so is illegal and can put manatees at risk.

* Report injured, entangled, orphaned or dead manatees to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline: 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC on your cell phone or text Tip@MyFWC.com.

* Purchase a manatee decal or license plate and let your friends know how you’re helping support the FWC’s manateeconservation efforts.

* Contribute to the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida’s Marine Mammal Fund by visiting Wildlife Florida.org and clicking on “Support Us,” “Funding Priorities” and “Marine Mammal Fund.”

The FWC encourages the public to report careless boat operators and other boating and wildlife violations to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922). The FWC encourages all boaters to operate in a safe manner, not only with public safety in mind, but for the safety of Florida’s wildlife.