Great news from south Florida! I just got a seamail stating the Miami Seaquarium released my pal Meeka! She was released near Lake Okeechobee.
Meeka was found and rescued in Indiantown, Florida just east of Lake Okeechobee, on March 26, 2014. She had 5 broken ribs and boat hull scrapes. Miami Seaquarium is an acute care facility which is part of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) and provides life-saving care for us manatees.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains that the MRP’s goal “… is to rescue and treat sick or injured manatees and then release them back into the wild.”
We (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 challenges 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 a sick or injured manatee, 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 to the MRP …
~ Kobee Manatee