Mystic’s manatee Washburn released off Florida coast

HARTFORD - Washburn, the pregnant, rescued manatee who was being rehabilitated at Mystic Aquarium, was released off the coast of Florida Tuesday morning.

washburn

She was first rescued and brought to Mystic Aquarium on September 22, by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. They had been tracking her over a month as she made her way further and further north into the waters off the Massachusetts coast.

Rescuers said she needed to be pulled from the Cape Cod coast, because water temperatures were dropping making it too cold for her to survive.

Here is a photo gallery from Washburn's move from Mystic to SeaWorld:

Manatees are endangered, making her rescue even more critical. Rescuers had cause for extra celebrations once the veterinary staff at Mystic Aquarium discovered Washburn was pregnant.

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She’s been dubbed “Washburn” for the island near where she was spotted in the Nantucket Sound.

She spent two weeks at Mystic Aquarium, before the huge operation to get her loaded onto a Coast Guard airplane and transported down to Orlando, Florida. She’s been in the care of the veterinary staff at SeaWorld ever since.

Tuesday, she was released off the coast of Oakhill, Florida, on the eastern side of the state.

Manatees carry their young for about a year. Washburn was about four to five months pregnant when she was rescued, which means she will be able to have her newborn in the wild.