Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Mon July 04 2016

Opinion Home | SeaWorld Cares

  • Art Kramer | July 4, 2016 2:30 PM ET

    Rescued Mother-Calf Manatee Pair Returned Home By The SeaWorld Rescue Team

    Rescued Mother-Calf Manatee Pair Returned Home By The SeaWorld Rescue Team

    PHOTO: SeaWorld’s Rescue Team returns a manatee and her calf to the wild.

    On June 24, 2016, a rehabilitated mother manatee and her dependent calf rescued from Ormond Beach, Fla. this past May were returned back to the Halifax River by the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team after a nearly two-month rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando.

    The animals were originally rescued and transported to SeaWorld Orlando on May 9, 2016. Upon examination, it was determined that the 1,255-pound, 10-foot-2-inch-long manatee mother was suffering from a pneumothorax (air trapped inside body cavity) which caused severe buoyancy issues, which could negatively impact her health, eating patterns and the nursing of her calf.

    SeaWorld’s expert veterinary team outfitted her with a “manatee wetsuit” the park designed for such rescue cases.

    The mother’s young calf came in weighing approximately 97 pounds, measuring 4 feet and 5 inches, and still nursing from its mother. Although he was unharmed by the water craft, he is still nursing and dependent on his mother, making it critical that the pair remain together as the calf continues to grow and learn from its mother. The calf has not left its mother’s side throughout the rehabilitation process.

    READ MORE: How SeaWorld Protects Tropical Fish

    SeaWorld Orlando works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to determine when a manatee is ready to be returned as well as the proper time and location for the return to take place.

    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.

    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

    The Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made 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 flood gates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.

    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.

    This blog originally appeared on SeaWorld’s website.


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Art Kramer SeaWorld Cares

Art is a veteran travel writer.
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