SeaWorld Orlando returns rehabilitated manatee, loggerhead sea turtles back to the wild

In news that everyone can feel happy about, SeaWorld Orlando recently announced that they have released back into the wild four rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtles and a manatee that was originally rescued as a two-week-old calf.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Care Team and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) had taken care of the loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species, after several months of specialized care. Three of them had been sent to SeaWorld from the New England Aquarium in Boston, who were taking care of 19 rescued sea turtles but were forced to send them to Florida because of the frigid winter temperatures. SeaWorld, along with several Florida marine life organizations, stepped up to take care of all of them.

The fourth turtle came from the Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine late last May and made a full recovery after being discovered malnourished, ill and covered in barnacles. All four turtles were released Wednesday morning at Canaveral National Seashore.

After three years of round-the-clock care, a young female manatee was released back into the natural environment at Port St. John, Florida by the SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team. Blanche was found by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) back on July 21, 2014  as an orphaned calf estimated to be just two weeks old. Initially weighing in at just 48 pounds and measuring 48 inches in length, she eventually made a full recovery at at SeaWorld’s Manatee Rehabilitation Center and now weighs a healthy 775 pounds. Blanche is already the sixth rehabilitated manatee that SeaWorld has released to their natural environment this year.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. More than 29,000 animals have been rescued by the expert animal rescue team that is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SeaWorld urges that if you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.

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