An orphaned manatee calf that was rescued July 21, 2014 from the Indian River in Port St. John, Florida, is responding well to treatment and is almost ready to start eating solid foods. The female calf, now approximately nine weeks old, is being bottle fed by members of the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team every three hours around the clock. The formula was created at SeaWorld and consists of a special mixture of infant formulas, tropical oils, nutrients, and water.

When the calf first arrived at SeaWorld it weighed 48 pounds. After six weeks of rehabilitation, it now weighs 71 pounds. The calf will continue to receive round-the-clock care, including regular bottle feedings, until she’s ready for solid foods such as lettuce; and her health will continue to be monitored.

So far in 2014, SeaWorld has rescued 8 and returned 8 manatees back to their 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 ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 23,000 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.

PHOTO: © 2014 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

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