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Manatee calf named for 'Star Wars' character released near St. Petersburg after rehab

A pair of manatees are back in the wild after receiving critical care at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo.

A male calf, nicknamed Beebeeate after the Star Wars: The Force Awakens droid character BB-8, and its mother, Ciega, were released this morning into Boca Ciega Bay near War Veterans' Memorial Park in St. Petersburg.

Beebeeate was found in April north of St. Petersburg's Tom Stuart Causeway. The underweight calf was suffering from buoyancy issues that prevented him from nursing properly, the zoo said. Since manatees are dependent on their mothers for up to two years, the healthy, 790-pound Ciega was also taken to the zoo.

During his time at Lowry Park, Beebeeate's weight doubled to 129 pounds, the zoo said.


Manatee calf named for 'Star Wars' character released near St. Petersburg after rehab 07/12/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 8:53am]
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