Yesterday morning, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team rescued an injured male manatee from the Indian River Intracoastal Waterway in Oak Hill, Fla. The SeaWorld team worked alongside members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to successfully rescue the manatee and transport it to SeaWorld.
The 445-pound, nearly 7-foot manatee was recently struck by a boat, and as a result, developed pneumothorax, commonly known as a collapsed lung, restricting its ability to swim and surface for air.
Immediately upon arrival the manatee underwent a complete health exam and was given fluids to aid with dehydration and antibiotics to treat possible infection. The manatee was outfitted with a specially designed wetsuit that the Animal Care Team created to assist buoyancy concerns.
Over the next couple of days and months, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team will closely monitor the manatee’s progress, providing round-the-clock care. The goal, as with every rescue, is to return the manatee back to his natural environment once he’s strong enough to survive on his own. Already in 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued two manatees.
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. 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.
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.