The SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team is currently caring for an approximately two-week old baby male manatee that was found abandoned last week in the Halifax River off the east coast of Florida.
The orphaned calf was spotted on Wednesday, July 20 and transported to SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue facility by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The calf still had its umbilical cord attached, weighed 58lbs and was 115cm long upon arrival to the park. SeaWorld’s expert veterinary team began round-the-clock care, including tube feeding every three hours, daily check-ups and monitored care 24/7. The Animal Care Team is also working closely with the calf to acclimate him to bottle feeding, which mimics nursing from its mother. The calf is currently doing well and showing signs of improvement.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 28,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades.
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. SeaWorld will continue to care for this calf until it reaches an appropriate return weight and is deemed releasable.
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.
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.wildtracks.org. 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.