NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - An orphaned manatee named “Mudpie” was released back to his natural habitat after successfully undergoing nearly three years of rehabilitation.

On March 10, 2014, in a partnership with the Miami Seaquarium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), Mudpie was rescued from Little Mud Creek, in the waters of St. Lucie County, after being orphaned at eight months old.

When rescued, Mudpie weighed only 200 pounds and would not have survived in the wild without his mother, according to wildlife officials.

Now, Mudpie is three years old, nine feet-long and weighs a whopping 900 pounds.

Mudpie was released into waters of the Blind Creek Park Boat Launch at Little Mud Creek in Fort Pierce at 11 a.m.

He was tagged for monitoring, and can be tracked in the wild at

If a manatee is observed in distress or a dead manatee is sighted, contact the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC.

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