Manatees Released
Andy Newman  /  AP
Marine mammal experts conduct an ultrasound examination on a manatee calf just before releasing it back into the wild Tuesday, July 17, 2007, off Key Largo, Fla.
updated 7/18/2007 9:39:30 AM ET 2007-07-18T13:39:30

An injured manatee and her calf, fitted with a satellite tracking and monitoring system, were released Tuesday in the Florida Keys more than a year after being rescued.

The adult manatee was saved by staff members at the Keys-based Dolphin Research Center in February 2006 after veterinarians determined she had been injured from a boat's motor and that the mammal was pregnant.

Named Ocean Reef for where she was found, the manatee was treated at the Miami Seaquarium, where she delivered her calf in April 2006.

Named Pumpkin after nearby Pumpkin Key, the calf was one of two born to the mother. The other one did not survive.

The tracking system should give scientists more information on manatees in their natural habitat.

Marine mammal experts were confident the calf would survive because she has been with her mother.

"When you have a calf that is nursing from its mom, you don't have to worry about her too much," said Pat Clough, medical director at the Dolphin Research Center and coordinator of the manatee rescue team.

"She's going to learn everything she needs to know by just being with mom."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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