He’s retiring to Florida.

An ailing manatee that was rescued in waters off of Texas in 2021 was returned to the wild Wednesday after eight months of rehabilitation in San Antonio.

Given the name TexasTeeMiguel, the manatee was found in Galveston Bay suffering from flipper injuries, weight loss and cold stress and had likely been struck by a boat, according to the Associated Press.

After receiving treatment at SeaWorld in San Antonio, the 1,240-pound animal — which gained 400 pounds during recovery — was deemed healthy enough to survive on its own and released Wednesday into Kings Bay in Crystal River, Florida.

In a complex process that took 24 hours to complete, TexasTeeMiguel flew in a DHL Express cargo plane in a custom container built for manatee transport.

He was placed on a foam mattress surrounded by blankets while being kept cool with an occasional misting, the outlet reported.

After receiving treatment at SeaWorld in San Antonio, the 1,240-pound animal -- which gained 400 pounds during recovery -- was deemed healthy enough to survive on its own.
After receiving treatment at SeaWorld in San Antonio, the 1,240-pound manatee — was deemed healthy enough to survive on its own.
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The plane stopped in Austin and Cincinnati before finally landing in Orlando, where marine biologists performed a quick checkup to make sure he was ready for his new life in the Sunshine State.

A lack of seagrass has let to an alarming mortality rate among the beloved sea creatures, with roughly 1,100 perishing last year.

There are 92 manatees undergoing similar rehabilitations at marine centers across the country.

While their population remains fragile, manatees were removed from the endangered animals list in 2017, according to the Washington Post.



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