JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A pair of manatees, a mother and her calf, were brought to Jacksonville on Tuesday and released into the Trout River.
The two had been housed and treated at the Manatee Hospital at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.
The mother was rescued last winter from the river running next to the JEA power plant.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said the manatee was suffering from cold stress.
The animal was taken to the treatment center at the Tampa zoo, and doctors soon found out she was pregnant.
In July, her calf was born there.
Now, the two are together, after being re-introduced to the Trout River by the zoo's manatee rehab team, FWC and volunteers from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
"To see mom and baby swim away healthy and together is a great experience for us," said Jacksonville Zoo director Dan Maloney.
He says with the number of manatees calling the rivers and waterways of the First Coast home, his hope is to build a manatee critical care center here in town.
He says that will keep them from having to transport the animals to one of the three manatee hospitals in the state.
The others are in Orlando and Miami.
You can track the progress of the manatees released on Tuesday by clicking here.
First Coast News