During the past week, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team has been caring for two rescued orphaned baby manatees. The newborn and month-old calves were both brought to SeaWorld Orlando’s rehabilitation facility after being rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The calves were both seen by locals who said the manatees appeared lethargic and swimming alone.
First Rescued Manatee Calf
The first manatee – which was found floating on its side – was rescued July 7, 2015, from Merritt Island and immediately transported to SeaWorld for instant treatment, including fluids and antibiotics.
To help the young animal float, the SeaWorld team used a custom-fitted infant life vest with a foam flotation device. This tool has allowed the manatee to remain upright ever since.
Second Rescued Manatee Calf
The second manatee calf that was found thin and alone was retrieved Monday morning from the Palm Coast and brought directly to SeaWorld for care. This male is believed to be about a month old. He is 47 pounds and 3 feet long.
Both manatees are being tube fed a specialized formula every three hours. The SeaWorld team also is working to teach the manatees to suckle so they can receive additional nutrition from a bottle. Around-the-clock care will continue as long as necessary.