TAMPA, Fla. (Gray News) – A new record has been set by manatee rescue and rehabilitators after 12 of the sea creatures were released back into the ocean on Monday.
According to a news release from the Save the Manatee Club, an “unprecedented” 12 manatees were released off the coast of Florida by the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership.
According to the release, this was the most ever released into the wild in a single day.
Researchers said they put GPS trackers on the creatures to keep up with them.
The manatees released back into the wild include Asha, Scampi, Ferret, Finch, Artemis, Bianca, Inigo, Lilpeep, Maximoff, Alby, Manhattan, and Swimshady.
The organization said most of the manatees released were orphans whose mothers died of starvation.
Experts said the animals’ starvation is being caused by the loss of seagrasses in the Indian River Lagoon, which acts as an important home to the manatee.
Florida officials started to distribute lettuce to supplement the manatees’ diets.
Manatees have been experiencing an “unusual mortality event” in Florida during the past three years, according to authorities.