Ilya the Manatee Is Currently on a Plane to Florida

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This is not Ilya, who is too sensitive to be photographed right now.

Ilya, the lost manatee whose dangerous yet exciting journey to Cape Cod via New York Harbor has riveted the nation for months, is safe. The sea cow had apparently hunkered down in the relatively warmer water in a creek near an oil refinery, in Linden, New Jersey, where he was discovered on Monday and pulled out by a team of marine biologists. Authorities kept the rescue a secret, according to the AP, because they feared "reporters and well-wishers could stress the manatee."

He spent the past four days recuperating at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, and is currently on a plane to Miami Seaquarium, where ostensibly he'll spend the rest of his days eating puréed sea plants and playing canasta.

Wayward NJ Manatee Destined for Miami Aquarium [AP via NYT]