Rescue and Rehabilitation Efforts

Manatees Venice and Ace were released back into the wild in Fort Myers in early 2015.

Manatees Venice and Ace are released back into the wild in Fort Myers after being rehabilitated at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and South Florida Museum.

Supporting manatee rescue and rehabilitation has been a fundamental aspect of Save the Manatee Club (SMC) for decades. SMC has provided funding and staff assistance for multiple manatee rescues and releases, as well as funds for the care and rehabilitation of injured and cold-stressed manatees at a number of facilities.

In 2013, SMC provided funds to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (HSWSP) in order to feed and care for manatees rescued due to red tide exposure. In previous years, SMC has funded heat, veterinary care, and food for manatees recovering from cold stress at HSWSP. In addition, SMC has provided necessary equipment, such as a manatee stretcher and a centrifuge, to HSWSP.

A manatee was released at the TECO power plant in Apollo Beach in January 2014.

A manatee is released at the TECO power plant in Apollo Beach in Florida.

Rescue and rehabilitation efforts have also included assisting Lowry Park Zoo with their manatee rehabilitation efforts by raising funds for a variety of essential equipment, including a new crane scale, shade cloths for medical pools, a new stretcher, and critical care pool doors. SMC has also provided funds for a new net for the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey in order to assist with manatee rescue in the northeast region, supported a tracking program in the Florida Keys focused on rehabilitated manatees with a history of monofilament entanglements, and started a manatee adoption program with the Dauphin Island Sea Labís Manatee Sighting Network in order to provide additional fund for the manatee stranding program.

SMC has actively supported manatee rehabilitation as a member of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP). Pat Rose and Dr. Katie Tripp have led various subcommittees of the MRP and Dr. Tripp co-chaired the Partnership from 2013-2015. More information about the MRP can be found at manateerescue.org.

Through the years, SMC has consistently contributed to, and led advocacy efforts, to ensure the essential preservation of much of the stateís funding for the Florida Manatee Critical Care Program, which financially supports the rescue, rehabilitation, release, and monitoring of cold-stressed and injured manatees. These funds have treated hundreds of manatees that may have suffered and died without proper treatment.

SMC supports rescue, rehabilitation, research, and relocation of manatees around the world, located in areas such as Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, West Africa, Senegal, Brazil, and the United States. Collaboration with Wildtracks rehabilitation facility in Belize has involved contributing funds for food, medicine, and infrastructure updates of the facility, including a new lift system and a new pump for a water heating system. SMC has also provided over 600 pounds of much-needed formula to feed orphaned manatees in Belize, as well as funds for upgrades to the food prep kitchen at Wildtracks to provide food for manatees in rehabilitation. SMC has also supported orphaned manatees, such as Twiggy in Belize and Victor in West Africa, with food and medicine. Learn more about SMC's international efforts.

Manatee “Longo” was waiting to be released at the TECO power plant in Apollo Beach in January 2014 after being rehabilitated for cold stress syndrome at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and South Florida Museum.

Manatee “Longo” waiting to be released at the TECO power plant in Apollo Beach in after being rehabilitated for cold stress syndrome at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and South Florida Museum.


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