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Rehabbed mama manatee and her calf set free in Florida river

Maegan Luckiesh
Maegan Luckiesh

ORANGE CITY, Fla. (AP) — A baby manatee and its injured mother are now swimming in Florida’s St. Johns River after undergoing four months of rehabilitation at Sea World Orlando.

They were released Wednesday near Blue Springs State Park.

It was a bit of good news for manatees after a report last week that Florida has already broken the record for manatee deaths this year.

Wildlife officials say more than 850 manatees have died in 2021. Starvation is the primary reason for the deaths.

Much of the seagrass they eat has vanished as water quality declines. They were brought to SeaWorld in March.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.