SeaWorld Orlando’s critical care facility received a 569kg manatee mother and her young calf for acute rehabilitation after being rescued a week ago. In addition, the team recently welcomed a rescued, orphaned manatee from Satellite Beach, Florida.
Mother and calf pair
The 3-metre-long manatee mother (the same length as an original Mini car) was experiencing severe buoyancy issues, which could negatively impact her health, eating patterns and the nursing of her calf.
The impact scar on the adult manatee’s back indicates she was struck by a watercraft. This caused her to suffer from a pneumothorax (air trapped inside body cavity), so SeaWorld’s expert veterinary team placed the manatee in a wetsuit to stabilise her buoyancy and the air was successfully removed from the chest cavity.
Today, the manatee is no longer in the wetsuit and has been seen swimming more upright. Although showing signs of progress, the care team is still vigilant and has performed radiographs on the mother to ensure was no other damage.
The mother’s young calf came in weighing approximately 44kg, measuring 1.3 metres. The calf has not left its mother’s side and has continued to nurse consistently throughout the rehabilitation process. The calf has also begun to take an interest in eating solid foods, which is a sign of good health.
FWC also rescued an orphaned, female manatee calf from the Satellite Beach. The orphaned calf received immediate nutritional support and is currently under 24-hour watch by the SeaWorld Animal Care team.
The team will continue to provide these three manatees with the best care, ultimately aiming to return them back to their natural environment.
This year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 11 manatees and returned 13 back to the wild.