Less than one year after return to local waters, “Buckeye” is back at SeaWorld’s Critical Care Facility
Orlando, Fla. (February 13, 2019) – Yesterday, late on February 12, an orphaned manatee, rescued and rehabilitated by the SeaWorld Rescue Team and partner facilities in 2015, is back at SeaWorld Orlando after teams were alerted to an unaccountable weight loss in the juvenile male.
Buckeye was first rescued – orphaned and underweight – in Daytona Beach, Florida in September, 2015. He spent more than two years with the SeaWorld animal care team for extended rehabilitation and care, including round the clock attention and bottle feedings. He was transferred to the Jacksonville Zoo as part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) in late 2017 and was returned to Blue Springs State Park in March 2018 more than 600 lbs. heavier, a healthy weight to be able to thrive in a natural environment, especially during colder winter months.
Yesterday’s rescue was a preemptive intervention, allowing SeaWorld veterinarians to conduct diagnostic testing on Buckeye to identify the cause of the weight loss. The team is hopeful that Buckeye will be cleared for return to Blue Springs State Park in the near future.
In 2018 the SeaWorld Rescue team assisted with a record number 72 manatees suffering from a variety of aliments including cold stress, red tide and entanglement. The goal with every rescue is to rehabilitate and return the animal as quickly as possible.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), South Florida Museum, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, the Jacksonville Zoo and Sea to Shore Alliance work with SeaWorld works with the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who together monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees.
The SeaWorld Rescue team is on-call 24/7, 365 days a year, giving marine animals a second chance at life.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, behavioral training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 33,000 animals in need over the