This morning, a male manatee that was rescued by SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team yesterday in Jacksonville was tube fed water to help with dehydration. He was given a complete visual assessment and blood analysis by one of the park’s senior veterinarians. He seems stronger and more active today, and the skin lesions on his muzzle and pectoral flippers are consistent with cold stress, but it appears he was rescued early enough to make a full recovery. This manatee is also slightly underweight at 770 pounds, and his blood results reflect mild inflammation. The Animal Rescue Team will support him with tube feedings of gruel — water, spinach, romaine lettuce and monkey chow — until he starts eating on his own, is gaining weight and can be returned to his natural environment.
At this time of year when the temperatures drop, many manatees are not able to find warm water, and therefore, suffer from cold stress. The current water temperature in the manatee medical pool at SeaWorld Orlando is kept at 26.5 C (79 F), a comfortable temperature for sea cows.
This year, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team has rescued 19 manatees and returned 10 back into Florida waters.