SeaWorld is now caring for an adult male manatee that was rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission October 10, 2013 near Ponte Vedra, just south of Jacksonville, Florida. According to their statement, the animal was spotted floating unusually high in the water and is believed to be suffering from boat strike injuries, among other ailments.
The nearly 10-foot-long manatee was transported to the popular SeaWorld Orlando themepark by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission because SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals. Upon arriving, the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team completed a full health assessment, fitted the manatee with a wet suit — to assist in correcting buoyancy issues and help with surface breathing — and began providing regular tube feedings. You can see how off balance he looks in the video they provided.
On his first day of care, the SeaWorld veterinary team performed a chest tap to release any trapped fluids or air that could be causing the animal to float abnormally and began administering antibiotics. This 1,000-pound male remains in guarded condition and will continue to receive around-the-clock care over the next few days, including regular tube feedings and antibiotic treatment. Marine animal rescue programs have a goal to rehabilitate and return their patients to the water and the SeaWorld team remains optimistic he will make a full recovery.
If you see injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.
A Manatee with a Medical History
A PIT tag allowed the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team to identify this animal and learned that he had been rescued once before after becoming stranded near the Matanzas River in St. Johns County, Florida. This manatee and six others were assisted back to the water after getting stuck in a muddy oyster bed in April 2002.
PIT tags are small satellite transmitters the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses to identify and track individual animals in the wild. Information from these tags not only provides health information, but also gives findings on migration patterns and feeding areas, which can be used to designate manatee and wildlife refuges, allowing man and manatee to share the environment.
So far in 2013, SeaWorld has rescued 15 and returned eight manatees back to their natural habitat.
Note that all manatee rescue footage was produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911.
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