(Photo: Clearwater Marine Aquarium/FWC)
Great news – I just learned that one of my manatee friends and her calf were rescued in Allen Creek, which is located within Clearwater, Florida. Kudos to both the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium! When over a dozen rescuers arrived at the scene, they found the flippers of the mother manatee tangled up in rope used for a crab trap. Her left flipper was severely immobilized.
The rescue team also reported that her calf looked underweight. Both manatees were taken to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for rehabilitation.
Us Florida Manatees are a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. We are currently listed as “endangered” and are at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and death. Our exposure to red tide, cold stress and other diseases are the natural issues we face each day. The man-made challenges facing us are; boat strikes, flood gates (or locks) and also getting caught and tangled up in fishing gear.
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here is a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee