Ohio zoo to release Florida manatee after rehab

October 23, 2011 - 6:00 PM
Ohio Manatee Release

Illusion, right, a 978 pound manatee is shown in this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Monday, Sept. 17, 2011, at the zoo in Cincinnati. Brought to the zoo last year after being injured by a boat propeller, Illusion has been rehabilitated and will be returned to Florida Nov. 9. She will remain on exhibit at the zoo until Nov. 8. The zoo says the manatee is the eighth to be rehabilitated at the zoo under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rescue and release program. (AP Photo/Ernest Coleman/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo plans to return a manatee to the wild as part of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service rescue and release program.

A 978-pound Florida manatee named Illusion arrived at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden about a year ago and will be returned Nov. 9. She'll remain on exhibit until Nov. 8.

The manatee suffered fractured ribs and vertebrae in March 2010 when a boat propeller cut through it in Palm Beach County. It was taken to the Cincinnati Zoo by the Miami Seaquarium.

The zoo says the manatee is the eighth it has rehabilitated and released. There are no scheduled release dates for Illusion's roommates, Wooten and Betsy.

Manatees can live up to 60 years, but human activities account for about one-third of known deaths annually.