MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Seaquarium is returning a rehabilitated manatee to its natural habitat.
Cadbury the manatee was rescued from Monroe County waters after being orphaned at just 3 months old.
When rescued, the little manatee was only 4-feet long and 92 pounds. Wildlife officials said he wouldn’t have survived in the wild without his mother.
The manatee received treatment at the Miami Seaquarium for the initial six months before being transferred to Columbus Zoo.
Cadbury spent two years at the Columbus Zoo, growing into the healthy and hearty adult he is now.
Cadbury, who is now 3 years old and 7-½ feet long, was returned to the Miami Seaquarium in November of 2016.
Seaquarium workers put Cadbury on a sea grass diet in order to prepare him to go back into the wild.
Cadbury was put on a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Tuesday afternoon and transported to Key Largo where they released the 600-pound manatee.
Cadbury will be tagged for monitoring and can be tracked in the wild at www.wildtracks.org.