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Record 12 manatees released to natural habitat in single day, animal rescue service says

A record number of manatees were released back into their natural habitat in a single day at Blue Spring State Park in Florida, according to the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership.

The Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership successfully released a record number of manatees back to their natural habitat in a single day. 

Twelve "sea cows," as they are often called, were released Tuesday at Blue Spring State Park in Florida, a vital warm-water habitat for manatees and one of the largest winter gathering sites for this species in Florida, following their successful rehabilitation, according to a press release.

Many of the manatees were rescued as orphaned calves during an ongoing unusual mortality event, which has left thousands of animals malnourished and starving, according to MRP. 

"Over the past several years, we have been called upon to rescue an alarmingly high number of injured, sick and starving manatees off the Florida coastline," said Monica Ross, chairman of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership and director of Manatee Research and Conservation for Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute. "Through the efforts of the MRP partners, I am thrilled that we were able to return the highest number of manatees to their natural environment in a single day."

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The manatees are:

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All animals will wear GPS tracking devices to allow researchers the ability to monitor manatee movement and ensure their acclimation to their natural habitat for the next year.

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