After 27 years of entertaining families and competing for attention with Shamu, Rita the Manatee has been released from Orlando's Sea World, and will spend the rest of her days in a Florida State Park.
"Every manatee that comes, it's our ultimate goal to have them released. We want to make them better and have them released," says Scott Gearhart, a Sea World veterinarian. Rita was brought to the park in 1982 after losing one of her flippers while entangled in fishing gear. She will be tracked for a year, in order to ensure that she can make it in the wild after being held in captivity for so long. Good luck, Rita! [UPI]