SeaWorld Orlando Returns Two Rehabilitated Manatees To Wild

SeaWorld Orlando Returns Two Rehabilitated Manatees to 

Blue Spring State Park

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Yesterday, following months of rehabilitation, SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team and the Lowry Park Zoo returned two rehabilitated manatees to the waters of Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Fla.

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SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team preparing a male manatee, Sarge, for his return to the waters of Blue Spring State Park. Sarge had been rehabilitating at SeaWorld Orlando for the past year due to cold-stress, and was returned to the waters of the St. Johns River at Blue Spring State Park.

The adult male, Sarge, was originally rescued due to cold-stress by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Nov. 6, 2013 from Green Cove Springs, Fla. FWC transported him to SeaWorld Orlando, where he received months of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including antibiotics, regular tube feedings and other supportive care. At the time of his return, Sarge weighed 755 pounds and measured 7½ feet long.

Sarge was returned with a female manatee, Pixie, who received another chance at life in Florida waters. Pixie was originally rescued in 2010 by the FWC as an orphaned calf, and received care at SeaWorld Orlando, Columbus Zoo and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. She was returned in 2014, and subsequently rescued for further conditioning. 

So far in 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued three and returned one manatee back to its natural environment. In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, 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 waters. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 24,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades.

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.

In collaboration with the government and other members of stranding networks, 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 24,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than five decades.

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.manateerescue.org. The endangered 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.

All manatee rescue footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911.

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