ORLANDO, Fla. (April 9, 2018) – Earlier this evening, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium transported a distressed mother manatee – and her nursing calf – from North Fort Myers to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation and care. The pair was rescued by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) after the mother manatee was observed floating and experiencing buoyancy issues.
Buoyancy issues can negatively impact a manatee’s health, eating patterns and the nursing of a dependent calf and if not corrected can be life-threatening. The condition is known as a pneumothorax and it was potentially caused by the blunt force of a boat strike. The calf is estimated to be a 1-year-old and, although unharmed, is still nursing and dependent on its mother. It is important that the pair remain together as the calf continues to grow and learn from its mother.
So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team has rescued 30 manatees and returned 7.
Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), SeaWorld Orlando is an acute care rehabilitation facility that provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees. At the time of his return
The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees. Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.manateerescue.org. The Florida manatee was recently reclassified from endangered to threatened, but is still at risk from both natural and human causes of injury and mortality. Exposure to red tide, cold stress and disease are all natural problems that can affect manatees. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by floodgates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.
All manatee rescue footage is produced by SeaWorld under the FWS Permit Number MA770191.
If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.