Inside the effort to rescue, rehabilitate and return manatees to the wild

This year, over half of all the rescues manatees, who were upgraded from endangered to threatened last year, have been performed by SeaWorld Orlando.
7:13 | 08/03/18

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Transcript for Inside the effort to rescue, rehabilitate and return manatees to the wild
Reporter: You're watching the wward manatees in Charleston, south carona We G a call, I can have crews ready to go 45 minutes out E door. Less than an hour,iketee Pretty much is. Reporter: Is resers in race against timethe water teatures drop to dangerously level the manatees on the verge of hypothermia. Hauled into Bos, lifted by crane, placed onto trucks, WATE of flora. Ththree-day operation is sues for manatees across the St ofida, the danger is far manateesistant relatives of vital R maintaining our ea ecosystem. They' got predator. The only per to manatee us. Eporter: Although they're no longer on the endangedcies list, fro a few hundredsn 1970s to 6,500 today, 2018 is track to be one of the deadest yearsn record for the Florida matees inhabit shallow rivers and coaal areas from the gulf of Mexico up alongthe atlantic ocean. But the live constant thy man and Na. Theuck by ATS, th can be impacted by the cold WER or red ti Reporter:tide,eadlyom of algae, current choki part of florida'swa killing fish a but manatee rehabilitation partnershirdinated B U.S. Fish and wildlife service, is doing at it can T stem the tide, rescuand rehabilitating more than 1,500 manatees. Eventually returning them to the wild. Over half of allhe rescues year have performed by seaworldorlando.some of the smallest and most ases are treated he They've come ovorter: These orphans must be bottle fed sev T a day. This isdex? Dedown,s ING to take that be in. There goes the Yep, there goes the formula as no one pushes his belly he'll be ppy. I thdex was hungry here goesjose. Reporter: When the orphans have beeneaned off bottles, some Wil other loons. En traveling by pne afar as To gethe manatees in out os building we'llse the chain pulley St Reporter: The Cincinnati zoo is caring for fourrphaned manatees Daphne isng her own thing, Pippen in the middle, miles O the GHT, Matthew on the left. E imals. We don'tt them to velop affection for people. When they go back toida, went to not bin in pple at all. Reporter: Weig aew hundred to 1,2 poundsy eat 10% to % ofir body N lettuce a four of them they get 200 ery good morning, babies. Avorite rig now Reay seems to be the enve and napa cabbage. Reporte eventuay thole go home to florida.return? A clean bill of, and the must weigh at least 600 P you get attacheto these to put them back out the wild, to release them a sca T in a way. Becae those same chlenges and pressures that ees to need human intetion, the still exis Reporter: Back at SeaWorld -- The Flo is being raised here. 100% dry here in a Nute. Reporter: They take inside their specially intenscare unit. E over the T this is one of our three we havetierinarians here, we have the expertise sxa bit care fornything that comes ioo with ING fivepatients. This manat came in because it was by itself Andy ac it's put on good weight late we'r a recheck. Reporter:n J.P. Petersonmanages seaworldorlando's program. She had a boat strike as you see that went acrsnd broke some and actlly they heal C each other. Because of ie's got, weually H five injections that'd to go in. 'Re going ight now. Nnjectionver feelsgood. But if we don'te her injectill die. We ao geff the flooe get them back in the waters qui as can. Go ahead. Reporter: It's here where they fir treated one oheir most severe Manke, Laguna. In may O 2017, she arrived in She was circlingonvulsivel to the left. She was not able to swim araight line. She would have died if Sas T D. Reporter: Her condition so grave the though St going toit. You can see she has three rely propeller wounds baseferskull. Thiss her head. Those look incrediy inful, Ver deep. Yes. Th G througher T go through her blu hermuscle reporter: The propeller had shatteredortion Ofer skull and rtebrae. E underwen a ct scan to Dama. Look at that there's actually bone ag she had pieces of bone pressing on her brain. Undeo selies. Evenalaking aing covery.d today it'sor that final STE she's ING home. It's 5:30 A.M., we' loading up to head to hermosa springs state park to get lagu. Eps a two-hour drive to E coa where Laguna has speheen months. She's N a mild dative, ted by crane, loaded onto the back of a truck. You gs ready? Reportever the crsf 2 1/2 hours, the warymove, spraying her witwate monitorg breathing and heart rate, her scarsow pma reminders of the dangers that lie ahead. Halfway thh, she starts to get restless, Rollinger nrly 800-pound ont her back. Oncee, it'she best E might roll a little bit. She M go upga wall, roll back. Somes like to L upside down. Theyually eoy being on their back. Repor and thenally- Nice and . Eporter: S's carriedout, given a final exam, microchiedusing sheer manpower, they bring her O to E water. Describe that moment what it's like for you toee areed pack into the wild It's one of the greatest days. Say it because I've seen from really bad situatn, Al themll the way up, walk them out, ges M chills. Every time I it I get a big. And there she goes. We done. Very well done. Reporte for "Nightline," I'm vict oendo in orla

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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