SeaWorld Orlando's Animal Rescue Team returned a rehabilitated manatee last Thursday to the warm Florida waters after being rescued from a power facility in Charleston, S.C. this past December. The manatee (named Goose during his 3 month rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando) was returned near the Kennedy Point Marina in Titusville. Prior to his return a satellite transmitter was attached around his paddle like a belt to ensure he follows proper migration patterns next winter.
Goose was originally rescued on December 11, by a team which consisted of members from SeaWorld Orlando, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The manatee – which traditionally would have been migrating to warmer Florida waters in the winter – was taken to SeaWorld Orlando for a medical examination and rehabilitation before it could be cleared for return to a local Florida waterway.
Due to dropping water temperatures in the area, the manatee remained close to the power facility’s warm water outfall, leaving it isolated from an adequate food source and naturally warm water.
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.
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 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.
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