BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - Her name is Lagoona, she is South Florida Museum's newest attraction. The 2 1/2 year old manatee was brought here to get better after spending six months at Sea World following an accident where she was struck by a boat's propeller on Mosquito Lagoon, nearly costing her her life.
"We're happy to have her here, you are always happy for a manatee to survive a situation like that," said Jeff Rodgers, Provost with the South Florida Museum. "We're happy that we're going to be able to bring her to the next stage."
Lagoona suffered a fractured skull and four large wounds from the base of her skull going down through her back. She is the first rescue at the museum since the death of the legendary Manatee Snooty back in July. Snooty had died at the age of 69 after getting into the tank's plumbing area, something that museum staff called a preventable accident.
"Snooty has a legacy and that legacy is us caring for, conserving, rehabilitating manatees and we take that very seriously," said Rodgers.
Many folks who we talked with at the museum, both young and old, are happy to hear about the work the museum is doing to rescue injured manatees.
"I'm just happy that somebody has done that and been able to save them from their injuries, so this is a wonderful thing," said Frederic Lamb, a museum visitor from Boston.
"I really like watching manatees because when people feed them they go straight for the cabbages and they go around in circles trying to find more food," said Sean, a young visitor from Tampa.
Lagoona is at the South Florida museum with two other manatees who are being rehabilitated. Another manatee was just released from the museum into the wild on Thursday. Lagoona and the other manatees are expected to be released from the South Florida Museum sometime in February.