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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

4 manatees from Columbus zoo released back into wild after rehab program

Carmen, Heavy Falcon, Bananatee and Tostone completed a rehabilitation program at the zoo and are back in the Florida waters.
Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Four manatees who were at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are back in the wild after completing rehabilitation at the zoo.

The zoo says Carmen, Heavy Falcon, Bananatee and Tostone were all released back into the Florida waters earlier this month.

Carmen and Heavy Falcon were rescued off the coast of Florida as calves in early 2018.

The two were stabilized at SeaWorld Orlando before making their way to Columbus to continue rehab.

Bananatee and Tostone were also found as orphans and arrived for additional care after coming from Miami Seaquarium.

Both the calves returned to Miami in October 2020 where they completed their rehabilitation and preparations were made for their release.

Carmen and Heavy Falcon went back into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 16 while Bananatee and Tostone went back on Feb. 3.

Credit: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a second-stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release back to the wild.