Ilya, a 10-foot, 1,100-pound manatee spotted in Connecticut waters 2 weeks ago, is safely recuperating at a Florida aquarium before being released back into the wild. Ilya was rescued 2 days ago wallowing in the warm discharge of a New Jersey oil refinery, but neither that nor his prolonged exposure to cold northern temperatures appears to have caused lasting damage. “We’re very relieved,” an animal rescuer tells NBC New York.
“We spent a lot of days worrying about him,” the rescuer continues, but once in captivity the animal quickly chowed down on $300 worth of lettuce. “All this thing did was eat. But that's a good thing.''