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Manatees rescued from red tide recovering in Homosassa until it's safe to return home

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 18:17:43-04

HOMOSASSA SPRINGS, Fla. — Rescued from the red tide in South Florida four manatees are now on the road to recovery in Homosassa waters until it's safe to return home.

The four rescued manatees are happily swimming and munching at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, but their journey didn’t start out so happy.

"Three of them had respiratory distress as a result of the red tide in South Florida. The other was a boat injury," said Kate Spratt, park services specialist. 

They were rescued and taken to Sea World where they recovered. 

"If you get them into clean water, clean air and clean food, these animals can turn around very quickly," said Jon Peterson, manager of SeaWorld Rescue Operations.

Red tide is to blame for more than 100 manatee deaths so far this year. 

"These rescued manatees were fortunate to get the critical care that they needed to recover from red tide," said Spratt.

They were moved to Homosassa waters to make room for other critical cases coming into Sea World. 

"Now they’re here in our beautiful spring," said Spratt.

They're busy munching on leaves, while waiting for the red tide to leave so they can return home.

Sea World will transport the manatees back to be released in South Florida once the red tide conditions are safe.