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Rehabbed manatee released in Apollo Beach | News

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Rehabbed manatee released in Apollo Beach

Bradenton, Florida -- A young male manatee named "Epac" is back in the open water. The animal care staff at the South Florida Museum's Parker Manatee Aquarium set him free Wednesday.

Weighing just 400 pounds, Epac was rescued in January 2011 from Matlacha Pass near Cape Coral, after suffering from cold stress due to prolonged exposure to cold temperature. He spent time at Lowry Park Zoo and was then transferred to South Florida Museum where he received continued care and monitoring.

Now, Epac weighs 820 pounds and is ready for release. He will be tracked and monitored by researchers for a year.

"Epac is a cold stress survivor. We want to release him in an area where manatees gather and in southern Florida because it is as close as possible to his original home. This location allows us to release Epac in a safe environment free of red tide, but will allow him to socialize and learn from the other manatees," said Marilyn Margold, director of living collections at the South Florida Museum, said in a release.

You can follow Epac's movements at www.wildtracks.org.

To learn more about the manatees at the South Florida Museum, visit www.southfloridamuseum.org.

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