SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned a male manatee to Kennedy Point Park in Titusville, Fla., and four green sea turtles to Florida’s east coast beaches following a successful rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando Wednesday morning.
The manatee, at the time weighing 445 pounds, was rescued Jan. 7, 2015, with the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff. The sub-adult male suffered from a watercraft injury near Oak Hill on the Indian River just north of Titusville, Fla. The injured manatee was taken into veterinary care suffering from a pneumothorax, a collapsing of the lung, and related buoyancy issues. Through the use of antibiotics and nutritional assistance the now healthy 514-pound manatee was able to be returned.
The Orlando Rescue team also returned four Green sea turtles to various east coast beaches today including Sebastian Inlet State Park and MacArthur Beach State Park. SeaWorld works with the FWC to determine the best location for these endangered turtles to be returned. These turtles were rescued earlier this year for various reasons including fishing line entanglements, emaciation and wounds. Sea turtles in SeaWorld’s care are monitored closely by both park zoological staff and veterinary staff. After a positive trend in health, the turtles are evaluated with the goal to return them back to the ocean. Through the use of blood chemistry analysis and a bacteriological culture, a decision can be made on whether the animal is ready to be returned or if continued rehabilitation is needed.
So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has returned 27 manatees and 60 sea turtles to their natural environment. This is part of SeaWorld’s continuous efforts to help conserve wildlife and do its part in supporting these endangered species.