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Jesup the manatee returns to wild after rehab at Florida zoo

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 3:52 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Gray News) - After three months in rehab, Jesup the manatee is free to resume his normal life.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens released the 3-year-old male in Salt Springs Recreation Area, about 80 miles south of town.

He was brought to the zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center on Feb. 22 after a group monitoring manatees noticed he was thin and showing signs of mild cold stress syndrome.

“Jesup came to us very thin and dehydrated with low blood glucose,” said Craig Miller, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Curator of Mammals. “His condition started improving quickly, however, he had a decent amount of weight to gain so that has been our primary focus the last three months.”

When the young manatee was rescued, he weighed 513 pounds. Jesup tipped the scales at 793 when he was released on Wednesday.

This was Jesup’s second stop at the Jacksonville Zoo. He spent two months getting healthy at the Manatee Critical Care Center in 2020.

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