On January 15/16, 2022, SeaWorld teamed up with DHL Express and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to help four rescued manatee calves begin their next phase of rehabilitation.
The rescued calves – named Lizzo, Cardi-Tee, MaryKate, and Ashley – were moved after more than a year of treatment at SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue and Rehabilitation Center to make room for more manatees in need of emergency care at SeaWorld Orlando, which houses one of only five manatee critical care facilities in the United States. SeaWorld is experiencing a record number of manatee intakes during the Unusual Mortality Event (UME) happening for the species.
To make this move possible, DHL Express donated their transportation network, transporting the manatees in custom-built, state-of-the art containers. The animals were accompanied by a staff veterinarian and Animal Care Curator who monitored the manatees’ condition throughout the flight. The manatees arrived safely and are settling into their new environment at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Once they reach a sufficient size and weight to survive on their own, they will be returned to SeaWorld Orlando, where they will spend a brief time at the care facility before being returned to their native range in Florida.