Rescued manatee released back into wild after recovering - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Rescued manatee released back into wild after recovering

picture by FORT LAUDERDALE FIRE RESCUE picture by FORT LAUDERDALE FIRE RESCUE

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A manatee that was rescued from a storm drain in downtown Fort Lauderdale has been released back into the wild after spending five months recovering in the Miami Seaquarium.

Several media outlets report that the firefighters who helped rescue "Piper" the manatee in May also set her free Wednesday morning into the waters along Fort Lauderdale's George English Park.

During Piper's initial rescue, cranes and fire engines helped pull the 300-pound manatee from the 15-foot-deep pipe. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission then took the 1-year-old manatee to the Miami Seaquarium for medical evaluation. She had scrapes and abrasions on her face, flippers and body.

Veterinarian Maya Rodriguez says Piper has recovered and gained more than 200 pounds.

The Florida Department of Transportation is working on preventing future incidents.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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