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A 350-pound mangled manatee recovering at Miami Seaquarium

This is a damaged portion of a juvenile male manatee’s fluke following a boat strike earlier this month.
This is a damaged portion of a juvenile male manatee’s fluke following a boat strike earlier this month. Contributed

A manatee rescued in a Keys canal is reportedly recovering at the Miami Seaquarium after being struck by a boat and nearly losing its fluke.

The juvenile male suffered deep slashes to his tail, crushing some vertebrae during a boat strike on Aug. 9 in Key Colony Beach, said Mary Stella, director of media and marketing for the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon.

Stella said in the last week she heard he is still holding his own at the Seaquarium. “They have been administering antibiotics and I do know he was eating, which is a good sign,” she said.

Jackie Krugman-Moore of Key Colony Beach spotted the six-foot, 350-pound manatee hugging the sea wall in the canal behind her home on Aug. 9.

“He stayed with us pretty much all day suffering and there was not a thing I could do to help,” she said in a Facebook post. Later in the day, he floated out with the tide but was found within 48 hours and rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Dolphin Research Center and transported to the Miami Sequarium.

Krugman-Moore said she received a phone call shortly after that part of the manatee’s fluke would need to be amputated due to so much damage. After rehab, he will reportedly be brought back to Marathon for release.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219

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