The SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team is now caring for a pregnant manatee that arrived yesterday on a U.S. Coast Guard plane from Connecticut - an incredible 1,300 mile journey - that’s the equivalent of flying from England to Italy. The manatee named Washburn, weighing the same as a motorcycle, was picked up in Nantucket Sound and sent to the Mystic Aquarium for rehab. Manatees are not native to Massachusetts and the water is too cold for them to survive.
SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue team partnered with multiple agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) to coordinate the move. The manatee will receive expert care from SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team and veterinarians until she is ready to be returned to her natural Florida habitat.
So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 20 manatees and returned 17 back to local Florida waters. Washburn is SeaWorld’s 21st rescued manatee. Upon arrival, she immediately began to eat and swim in the rehabilitation pool. The SeaWorld Care Team will continue to monitor her and her unborn calf around the clock.
SeaWorld Orlando will work closely with the (FWC) to determine when Washburn is ready to be returned, as well as the proper time and location for the return to take place.