PHOTOS: Columbus Zoo welcomes 18-month-old manatee

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POWELL, OH (WCMH) – The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has welcomed a new member of the family: an 18-month-old manatee named Agua.

Agua arrived in Ohio late Friday night from Lowry Park and Zoo in Tampa, Florida, where she lived for a little over a year after she and her mother were struck by a boat in 2016.  After Agua began rehabilitation and was stabilized, she came to Columbus Zoo to continue her healing.

Agua has joined the other manatees at Manatee Coast. She will still have access to the behind-the-scenes areas while she adjusts to her new surroundings.

After her rehabilitation is complete, Agua will be released back into Florida waters.

The Columbus Zoo is a second state rehabilitation facility that works with the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership. The zoo provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Agua has joined the other manatees at Manatee Coast. She will still have access to the behind-the-scenes areas while she adjusts to her new surroundings.

“We are incredibly proud to participate in this partnership as a second-stage rehabilitation facility for manatees,” said Becky Ellsworth, curator of the shores region at the Columbus Zoo. “Agua marks the 26th manatee we have helped rehabilitate through this collaborative program, and we are looking forward to monitoring her progress as she grows stronger.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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