SeaWorld Orlando has returned a fully grown female manatee weighing 51 stone - around the same weight as five adult women* - to the wild, 12 months after being rescued.
"Piggy" was rescued due to cold stress by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from St. John's River in Palatka, Florida, on 7 February 2013. Following her rescue, Piggy was tran
orted to SeaWorld Orlando for medical care and rehabilitation. Over the past year, Piggy has received continual treatment, including antibiotics, fluids and other supportive care. After being medically cleared for the return she was transported by SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team to Blue Spring State Park, a designated manatee sanctuary.sp
The SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team was also called to assist with the rescue of a female manatee measuring almost 11 feet which was emaciated, lethargic and behaving a
bnormally. This is not the first time SeaWorld Orlando has provided care to this manatee, who has been identified as Georgia. In 1991, an orphaned calf at the time, she was rescued from Brunswick, Georgia, and was brought to SeaWorld Orlando for care until she was returned to Blue Spring State Park in 1997. She was close to six years of age, more than 10 feet long, and weighed more than 116 stone.
Georgia was rescued again by the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team, 17 years after this first encounter, with assistance from FWC staff and volunteers. She was transported to SeaWorld Orlando earlier this week, where the park's animal care team and veterinary staff performed a complete health exam and began providing an antibiotic treatment and fluids. Georgia will continue to be monitored and more testing will be done to determine what medical attention the large mtone at the time of her return.
SeaWorld Orlando is also now caring for another orphaned female calf which was rescued from the DeSoto Canal near St. Petersburg, Florida. Upon her arrival at the park she was given a full health assessment and will continue to be monitored and provided around-the-clock care. The calf joined four other orphaned manatees that were rescued late last year.anatee needs.
In collaboration with the American government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world's most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped 25,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than four decades. So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued three manatees and returned one.
The Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (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.
*Calculation based on adult woman weighing approximately ten stone