SeaWorld rescues manatee from Little Econ River in Orlando

Lil Joe traveled 25 miles from the St. Johns River, officials say

Published On: Sep 28 2012 05:05:40 PM EDT
manatee
ORLANDO, Fla. -

SeaWorld Orlando rescued a wayward manatee named "Lil Joe" from the Little Econlockhatchee River on Friday.

SeaWorld officials say the manatee traveled an estimated 25 miles through the St. Johns River to just outside downtown Orlando.

Lil Joe is approximately 14 feet long and 1,000 pounds. He was transported from the Little Econlockhatchee River to SeaWorld’s Manatee Rehabilitation Facility for evaluation. SeaWorld officials said Lil Joe has responded well and is eating on his own.

In July of 1989, as a young orphaned manatee he was rescued near Daytona Beach, Fla. and brought to SeaWorld’s Manatee Rehabilitation Facility. Weighing only 42 pounds, he was given the nickname, Lil Joe.