Here are two of the five manatees released from Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Photo/Joel Bells
Greetings to you! I’m fairly sure you’ll enjoy this blog, as it definitely brings you great manatee news! Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens recently released 5 rehabilitated manatees back into their natural habitat. And this release was the largest in the zoo’s history!
There were two female manatees; Amelia and Irma, which were released in Blue Spring State Park located in Orange City, Florida. These females were orphaned and needed to grow larger to be returned to the wild. There were also three male manatees, which were also released in Blue Spring State Park.
The male manatees were treated for “cold stress,” which affects their system. Like humans, manatees are warm-blooded and they need a water temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit to survive. In fact, the Florida manatee season runs from November 15th through March 31st. Why?
This is because the coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, along with Florida’s many rivers, including the famous St. Johns River can fall below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. When these circumstances happen, manatees seek refuge in Florida’s naturally warm springs, such as Crystal River and Blue Spring State Park along with power plant discharges, such as Florida Power and Light’s Manatee Lagoon and Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center. All of these areas have balmy water temperatures of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Craig Miller, curator of mammals at the Jacksonville Zoo said, “Releasing these animals not only marks the successful rehabilitation of five more manatees, it also frees up critical space so additional manatees can be treated at our Zoo. It truly takes a team to protect this threatened species and I could not be prouder of the dedication of all those involved with this program.”
“The Jacksonville Zoo’s Critical Care Center provides life-saving medical treatment to rescued manatees. The manatee rescue and rehabilitation program has cared for 27 manatees and released 21 of these marine mammals since the center opened in 2017.”
Stay tuned for more of my blogs!
If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-3922 (FWCC). They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee