MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A South Florida manatee who gained fame nearly a decade ago after making its way to Massachusetts has died.
Ilya the manatee was struck and killed by a boat in the Keys. The Save the Manatee Club announced Ilya’s death in a Facebook post this week.
The manatee became famous in 2009 when he was spotted in New Jersey and Cape Cod. As water temperatures dropped, multiple agencies and individuals worked together to contain the manatee, treat him for cold stress, and fly him back to warmer waters in Florida.
The Facebook post said Ilya was spotted in the South Florida waters several times after that journey, adding “his adventurous spirit will be missed by many.”
Ilya was supported by Maitland based Save the Manatee’s Adopt-A-Manatee program.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)