Two orphaned manatees were recently found and rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
On July 7th, on Merritt Island, an Island on the east coast of Florida near theKennedy Space Center, a new born manatee calf was discovered by a local resident. The manatee was immediately transferred to SeaWorld Orlando where it began receiving life saving care.
The manatee was so small and helpless that SeaWorld’s animal rescue team had to create an infant sized life vest for it to wear to help it stay afloat while rescue workers stand with it 24 hours a day until it is able to swim on its own.
On July 13th, a second manatee calf was found alone, starving and thin on the Palm Coast. The calf was immediately brought to SeaWorld Orlando where rescue workers determined that it was about a month old. Rescue workers immediately got fluids into the calf to stabilize it.
Right now, at SeaWorld Orlando, rescue workers are tube-feeding the manatee calfs a specialized formula every 3 hours around the clock. They are also trying to teach both calfs how to suckle so that they can get them bottle feeding in order to deliver additional nutrients to the calves.
So far in 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 29 manatees and has been able to return 27 so far back to their natural habitat.
The goal of any rescue by SeaWorld and accredited rescue facilities is always to return the animals to their natural habitat. In the case of manatees, it is up to the Florida Wildlife Commission if they are deemed releasable.