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Asaka, Braille, Nitty and Pipsqueak, four female sub-adult manatees, were happily released into the warm waters of Eddy Creek on Thursday July 18, 2013 by SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team. Three of these manatees were rescued in December of 2012 after being trapped in a mosquito embankment in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and suffering from mild cold stress. The fourth manatee, Asaka, was rescued this past March due to buoyancy issues.

After spending months at SeaWorld Orlando being rehabilitated all four manatees, ranging in weight between 400lbs to 775lbs, were declared healthy and ready to return to their natural habitat. Each manatee was weighed and measured before being released. They were also fitted with a tag so that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission can track their movement and progress. The release was bittersweet for those who had the pleasure to work with these magnificent creatures, happy to see the animals swim away and start to thrive on their own but sad to see them go.