Wayward manatee missing

October 19, 2009 7:23:46 AM PDT
Officials have lost sight of a wayward Florida manatee that they wanted to rescue from frigid New Jersey waters. Ilya had been huddling near an outfall pipe at a Linden refinery last week to try to stay warm.

Marine mammal rescuers devised a plan to capture the sea cow and return it to Florida's warmer waters. However, no one has seen Ilya since Friday afternoon.

Bob Schoelkopf (SHELL'-koff) of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center says he hopes Ilya is heading south on his own.

Schoelkopf asks anyone who sees the manatee to call the stranding center at 609-266-0538 because Ilya may still need help.

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