The Cows Come Home

Rehabilitation centers around Florida have released a relative wave of manatees in the past few weeks including grown-up orphans and older sea cows with injuries deemed survivable in the wild. Disney’s Epcot center, while I was there during DiveQuest, spoke of the pending release of Bock, a younger male, with serious hope for his future. To prepare for the release staff were harvesting wild freshwater plants around Epcot property to feed to get him used to edible plants he’d come across in the wild.

SeaWorld in Orlando also released several younger and one titanic manatee in the past few months. In fact, the titan warranted her own press release. Through the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership you can get updates about many of the manatees released in state waters from rescue programs from several facilities but SeaWorld is also posting updates on Rita’s progress directly to their animal information website. As you can see from her tracked movements, Rita hasn’t taken off exploring too far in her new home but, as the press release mentions, she’s been in human care since 1982! (Ahem, that was the year I was born!)

It looks like there is, or will be, one other institution releasing manatees this spring – Lowry Park Zoo. Baby Coral was slated for release a week ago although MRP hasnt updated any observations on her page and there are no press releases from Lowry as yet. Keep your eyes peeled around Florida waters for any of the newly released cows, they should be carrying tail stalk belts with tiny trackers.


One Comment to “The Cows Come Home”

  1. The theme parks do a for Orlando, I live in Kissimmee and it is more than just attracting tourists (though that is a big one!).