Sea World is providing care to the first cold-stressed manatee of the year. While Florida is not experiencing the dangerous cold much of the country is currently enduring, it is chilly and water temperatures are dropping. Manatees are especially vulnerable to low water temperatures. Yesterday, in a combined effort between Florida Fish and Wildlife, Sea2Shore, and a local chapter of the Save the Manatee Club a male sub-adult manatee was rescued in Lake Griffin. The manatee was transported to Sea World where he can be properly cared for and rehabilitated.
The manatee, found in Eustis, a city in Central Florida is now enjoying warmer waters. Water temperatures in Central Florida are beginning to drop below the crucial temperature for manatee survival, 68 degrees. The manatee was assessed in the field and transported to the Sea World critical care animal hospital. Currently, the animal is receiving fluids and antibiotics for dehydration, and abscesses, both of which are symptoms of cold stress.
According to Jon Peterson, Sea World’s manager of rescue operations the current plan is to rehabilitate this manatee and return him to the wild once the waters warm up. Peterson has also spoken to the risk manatees run of succumbing to the cold when temperatures drop as manatees need warm water to survive.
The Sea World rescue team is a large part of the Florida based theme park. Last year alone, the team assisted with rescue and care for 72 manatees. This record number of creatures were suffering from a variety of ailments including, cold stress, red tide, and entanglement. The rescue team is available 24/7 to provide care to a variety of marine life and birds. Working with various entities throughout the state, including the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation program with a common goal of rehabilitation and release. Once returned to their natural habitats, they are monitored to ensure proper health.
Source: Sea World
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