Great news! One of my manatee buddies suffering from cold stress was rescued from the Magnolia River in Alabama. A team from SeaWorld, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service performed the manatee rescue.
Some manatees will travel from Florida over to Alabama and swim the Magnolia River in the summer. But from mid-November to mid-May, the river is much too cold for manatee habitat. Manatees are warm-blooded and in the cold weather, we need the warm water of Florida’s springs or the warm outflow water of energy plants to sustain our body temperature.
This was the first manatee rescue in 2015. My manatee buddy is 9-feet long and weighs in at 785 pounds. Over the next few weeks the folks at SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue team will feed and monitor the cold-stressed manatee.
Florida Manatees (that’s me J) are a subspecies of the West Indian manatee. We’re currently listed as “endangered” and are at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and death. Our exposure to cold stress, red tide, and other diseases are the natural challenges we face each day. The man-made issues 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