Earlier today, after ten weeks of rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team returned a female manatee to the waters of Crystal River, Fla. The manatee, named Magnolia, was rescued 500 miles north of SeaWorld Orlando in Alabama earlier this year after being found injured and suffering from cold stress. Following her rescue, Magnolia was immediately transported to SeaWorld Orlando for care and rehabilitation.
Her treatments included dietary support, antibiotics, blood work, radiographs and wound care. Upon arrival, she weighed 785 pounds and was over 9-feet-long. She now weighs a healthy 940 pounds, an increase of more than 150 pounds.
So far in 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 24 and returned 25 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 waters. 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.
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.
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