[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Injured manatee, calf released back into Gulf


Injured manatee, calf released back into Gulf

Sep 21, 2011 11:22 PM EDT

By Joshua Repp, NBC2 Reporter


Two manatees have been returned home to the waters off Captiva Island. We found out they survived a whole week before being rescued.

From the minute they arrived by truck Wednesday, spectators were drawn in, waiting to see the manatees they've heard all about.

We learned mama seacow, Nori, was hit by a boat off of Captiva three months ago while she was pregnant with her calf, Cappi

"It could have been the boat strike that caused the labor," said Jodi Tuzinski, with the Miami Seaquarium.

For a whole week, veterinarians say, the newborn barely held onto life and Nori was unable to nurse.

"She had air trapped in her body cavity," Tuzinski explained. "Instead of swimming like this, she was on the side because she had air trapped in her side."

Once rescued, the two sea cows were taken to the Miami Seaquarium, where vets were able to release the air trapped in Nori's side.

"This valve was actually created for soldiers when they get shot in the chest," said Dr. Maya Rodriguez, with the Seaquarium.

Once the air was pumped out, Nori could swim upright.

"We've been using it at Miami Seaquarium and in her case we're so excited that it worked and that we could release both of the here today, together," Rodriguez said.

"The baby probably would not have survived," Tuzinski added.

Cappi was able to start nursing again in rehab and has since gained 65 pounds.

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