SeaWorld animal care specialists are a little bleary-eyed this week as they provide 24-hour care for a weeks-old, baby manatee. Orphaned by her mother, the female calf arrived at the park’s rehabilitation center on July 24 after being rescued from the waters of Daytona Beach, Fla.
Every three hours the 3½-foot and 41-pound orphan is bottled-fed with the park’s nutrient-rich baby formula that promotes weight gain. Her weight is taken every other day as animal care specialists closely monitor her progress. She remains in guarded condition and park veterinarians hope to eventually return her back to the wild.
The animal was transported to SeaWorld by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. SeaWorld is the global leader in the rescue and rehabilitation of manatees. The park’s Animal Rescue Team is on call 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.