Bonita Springs — Breva, a 1,000 lb. manatee was released into Estero Bay at the Bay Water Boat Club in Bonita Springs on Tuesday, May 15. Two kayakers found the distressed Breva in Estero Bay in January. The animal was suffering from red tide poisoning. The kayakers kept the manatee alive by keeping her head above water with their paddles so that she would not drown. More than a dozen manatees were found dead in the area this season after succumbing to red tide poisoning. After Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived to rescue Breva, she was taken to Miami Seaquarium for rehabilitation. After four months of recovery, she was transported back to Estero Bay and released into the wild.
Researchers, officers and volunteers helped lift the manatee from the large moving truck and carry her to the water. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission researcher Denise Boyd and Miami Seaquarium animal care manager Jodi Tuzinski gave each other high fives as Breva swam into the bay with other researchers watching her descent into the water.