Manatee rescued from Fanning Springs

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

An adult manatee, freshly sliced by a boat propeller and breathing erratically, was hauled out of Fanning Springs today by about a dozen volunteers and state rescue workers.
"This mammal's got a fighting chance now," said Larry Steed, park manager for Fanning and Manatee Springs state parks. "It always makes you feel better if you can patch them up and get them back into the wild."
A crew from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's  Manatee Research and Rescue division showed early in the afternoon, corralling the animal with a net and pulling it onto a boat, which then took the animal to a nearby boat landing where it was loaded onto a truck and covered with wet blankets.
Andy Garrett, the FWC biologist leading the rescue, said the manatee would be taken to Sea World in Orlando — about an hour and a half away — for recovery. Rehabilitation could take up to several months, he said, adding that the location of the gash in the animals back could mean the manatee has broken ribs or damage to its lungs.
"They're going to treat it in whatever way they need to," he said.

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