CINCINNATI - The 630-pound Florida manatee named Wooten will soon be heading home from the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Cincinnati Zoo acquired the manatee in November 2010 as part of the Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Program after he was rescued from Florida's Orange River. Experts determined from his size at the time he was more than likely an orphaned calf.
Two years later the US Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) decided Wooten was releasable.
On Nov. 5, Wooten will travel to the Miami Seaquarium before being released back into the Orange River near Ft. Myers, Fla. Since he was rescued from the Orange River, it is hoped that he may have some recollection of the area.
Wooten is the 11th manatee the Cincinnati Zoo has rehabbed and released back to the wild. The Cincinnati Zoo is one of only two facilities outside of Florida to participate in the USFWS Manatee Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Program. The program began in 1973 with the mission of rescuing and rehabilitating distressed and injured Florida manatees.
Cincinnati Zoo visitor's last chance to see Wooten at the exhibit will be Sunday, Nov. 4.