In a journey familiar to retirees but not sea mammals, Ilya the wayward manatee flew south for the winter Thursday after being rescued from a chilly New Jersey creek.
Now he’s back in Miami, with all the lettuce he can eat and even some female companionship.
Ilya was flown south aboard a Coast Guard C-130 cargo plane after being rescued Monday from a small waterway between northern New Jersey and Staten Island, N.Y.
It took more than 30 rescuers and 7 1/2 hours to corral Ilya in a 300-foot fishing net, drag him onto a muddy creek bed and lift him by a crane onto a stretcher.
WATCH the video from the Coast Guard below…
|Wayward manatee rescued in N.J. is flown to safety|