Featured Image Credit: Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel
By Sarah Sharkey
Although the immediate threat of Hurricane Irma has lifted from the Florida peninsula, there are still impacts seen across the state. One place where the impact is apparent is in the rescue and recovery tanks at SeaWorld in Orlando. The rescue team has taken on pelicans, sea turtles and baby manatees.
One special baby manatee is unnamed, simply referred to as No. 23. He is yet unnamed, but there is tremendous hope that he survives the long recovery road ahead of him. He was found alone and beat up, with no mother in sight after Hurricane Irma. It is possible they got separated during the storm, or she died, we may never know that answer.
Jon Peterson is the manager of the rescue team, and his passion for these animals is apparent. Peterson said, “Everybody is willing to do whatever it takes for these animals. That’s what my crew does.”
Taking care of a baby manatee is no easy feat. Someone on the crew has to be feeding the baby every 3 to 4 hours; this means long shifts that can start in the middle of the night. Their dedication to the recovery of these animals cannot be understated. Hopefully, their efforts will save No. 23 so that he can eventually be released to lead a long and happy life.
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