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Cheeno released after rehab at South Florida Museum | Environment

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Cheeno released after rehab at South Florida Museum
Environment, News, Pets
Cheeno released after rehab at South Florida Museum

Bradenton, Fl. - A manatee undergoing rehabilitation at South Florida Museum since February of 2012 is back in the wild!

Cheeno was released from the Bishop Manatee Aquarium into the Orange River in Ft. Myers on January 7.  

“Cheeno was tagged with a GPS tracking device and will be monitored for up to a year to make sure he is adjusting well to life in the wild. His release went smoothly - he did a ‘happy to be in water’ tail slap as soon as he was wet and partially submerged in the river’s waters," says Marilyn Margold, the Museum's Director of Living Collections.

Cheeno was rescued in the Caloosahatchee River suffering from cold stress, which is similar to frostbite. He spent time in critical care at the Lowry Park Zoo and was then taken to the South Florida Museum for continued care. He weighed 465 pounds and was 6 feet 7 inches long when he arrived and has since grown to more than 740 pounds, which makes him eligible for release in the winter.

Cold stress is a serious condition for manatees. Extended exposure to water colder than 68 degrees may cause skin lesions and pneumonia. Typically, manatees migrate to warmer waters near warm springs or power plants to stay healthy. 

Another manatee named Longo is undergoing rehabilitation after suffering cold stress is still at the facility and is scheduled to be released later this month. 

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