Crews searching for manatee with bicycle tire stuck around belly

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKMB) — Crews in Volusia County are working to capture a manatee stuck in a tire at Blue Spring State Park, according to wildlife officials.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said Tuesday morning that members of their team, as well as SeaWorld rescue crews and members of the Save the Manatee Club in Volusia County, were working to pull off the rescue at Blue Spring State Park.

Reports of the manatee surfaced back in October. It appeared to have a bicycle tire stuck around its belly while swimming in Fernandina Beach. After that spotting, crews were unable to locate the sea cow but vowed to continue searching for it and attempt to free it as soon as possible.

Crews were hoping to capture the manatee Tuesday, free it and take it to SeaWorld for treatment, according to wildlife officials.

The search was called off around 2 p.m., until further notice, after crews failed to capture the manatee in a tire, according to a park ranger.

“The SeaWorld Rescue team were sent out this morning to assist FWC with this rescue – the team was not successful in getting this manatee, but we will continue our efforts when requested again by FWC,” a SeaWorld Orlando spokesperson said.

No other details were immediately available.

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