(WFLA) – A well-known manatee who had previously been spotted last “cold season” trapped in a bicycle tire has returned to Blue Springs State Park tire-free!
The manatee encircled in the bicycle tire was first reported in Oct. 2019. The animal was spotted in Fernandina Beach and migrated to Blue Springs State Park during the winter, according to the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
FWC and its partners attempted several times to rescue the manatee, but the efforts were unsuccessful because so many other manatees were using the spring to stay warm.
Florida’s recent cold front has brought manatees back to the spring, including the manatee previously trapped in the tire.
The research institute said experts can’t determine exactly how the manatee escaped the tire, but the animal was struck by a boat propeller in February, which cut through a portion of the tire and likely allowed the manatee to swim free.
Sick or injured manatees should be reported to FWC by calling 888-404-3922. Entangled manatees should only be rescued by wildlife officials.