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Manatee rescued from pump station released into water

Female manatee found May 12 in storm water culvert off New River

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A manatee that was rescued from a Fort Lauderdale pump station in May was released back into its natural waters Wednesday after successfully undergoing rehabilitation.

The manatee, named Piper, was rescued May 12 by Fort Lauderdale firefighters and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials.

Authorities found the 7-foot female manatee trapped in a storm water culvert off the New River.

Cranes were used to pull Piper out of the 15-foot storm drain pipe system.

Miami Seaquarium officials said Piper suffered scrapes and abrasions to her face, flippers and body. She was taken to the Seaquarium, where she was given antibiotics and medication for parasites and foreign body ingestion.

Officials said Piper was just under a year old when she was rescued and weighed about 300 pounds.

After spending four months at the Miami Seaquarium, Piper now weighs more than 500 pounds.

Anyone who spots a manatee that may be in distress or a dead manatee is asked to call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC.

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