An orphaned nine-week-old female baby manatee is fed from a bottle by a member of the Animal Rescue Team at SeaWorld Orlando.
The calf, which was rescued on 21 July from the Indian River in Port St. John, Florida, is being bottle fed by staff every three hours and is almost ready to start eating solid foods. The formula was created at SeaWorld and consists of a special mixture of infant formulas, tropical oils, nutrients and water.
When the calf first arrived at SeaWorld it weighed under three and a half stone. After weeks of rehabilitation, she now weighs just over five stone. The calf will continue to receive round-the-clock care, including regular bottle feedings, until she’s ready for solid foods such as lettuce; and her health will continue to be monitored.
So far in 2014, SeaWorld has rescued eight and returned eight manatees back to their natural environment. In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programmes to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 25,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than four decades.