Friday, July 31, 2009

SeaWorld Releases Another Manatee!

O'Doul, a 9-foot, 970-pound adult male manatee, was released back "into the wild" on July 30, 2009, following four months of care at SeaWorld Orlando's rehabilitation facility. OK, so KARS Park at Kennedy Space Center, is not exactly "the wild", but it's pretty darn close by Florida standards. According to the Orlando Sentinenl staff reporter Ludmilla Lelis, Bob Wagoner, who is the assistant curator of mammals at SeaWorld, said the manatee had been rescued off Merritt Island on St. Patrick's Day 2009...hence his Irish name. O'Doul was suffering from cold stress and a probable watercraft strike, evidenced by several propeller scars that appeared to have recently healed. Over the past 4 months, O'Doul gained weight and recovered from the cold stress, making him ready for release. Photo (c) SeaWorld Orlando.

O'Doul was the 13th manatee rescued and the 11th manatee released this year by SeaWorld Orlando's Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Team. According to state and federal authorities, cold stress caused at least 13 of ~75 manatee deaths in Brevard County so far this year and 52 of 297 manatee deaths statewide.

SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responding to emergencies involving injured, ill or stranded animals. The Team have rescued all sorts of marine wildlife, from endangered manatees suffering from cold stress to endangered sea turtles that have lost their way. Over the past 30 years, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove parks have rescued more than 14,000 injured, ill or orphaned animals. SeaWorld also participates in critical Species Survival Plans for dozens of endangered, threatened and at-risk species. Since 2003, more than 300 on-the-ground wildlife conservation projects have been supported across the globe through the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Read more SeaWorld an the Florida manatee it at these links:

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