Live Broadcast Today

SeaWorld animal care experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the past four decades, many of which have been manatees. Today [Thursday, July 18], four of those special creatures will be released LIVE at 10 a.m. ET! Pipsqueak, Braille, Nitty and Asaka will return to the waters of Eddy Creek in Brevard County, Florida and for the first time SeaWorld will broadcast the event! Animal enthusiasts from around the world can watch the event as it’s happening (Click here).

Manatees in rehabilitation pools at SeaWorld, Orlando

Manatees in rehabilitation pools at SeaWorld, Orlando

Braille, Nitty and Pipsqueak suffered mild cold stress last December after getting caught in the mosquito impoundment in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  They are doing so well with rehabilitation, they’re packing up and getting ready to roll!

Impoundments are earthen dikes that allow control over how
much water stands in the area to limit the number of mudflats,
so mosquitoes have fewer places to lay eggs and breed.

This past March, Asaka suffered from buoyancy issues which led to her rescue by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from the Indian River in Merritt Island, Florida. While at SeaWorld, her buoyancy issues were resolved.

Buoyancy is the ability to float or rise when submerged in a liquid. Manatees
do not have swim bladders, and use their lungs to maintain “neutral
buoyancy” and their horizontal position while they graze.
Without this ability, they cannot properly feed.

Cleared for release, the four manatees will be fitted with a satellite tag that will allow the FWC to monitor the animals’ movements to ensure their success.

SeaWorld’s animal rescue team, along with Canaveral National Seashore and FWC team members, will participate in the release. Tune in, or follow on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you see injured marine animal, you can help by calling the
FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.

Four Surviving Pilot Whales Arrive at SeaWorld

The four surviving Pilot whales from the September 1 stranding arrive at SeaWorld Orlando.                                                            All images courtesy SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando’s animal rescue team transported four pilot whales from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to SeaWorld this morning (September 5, 2012). The juvenile short-finned pilot whales, one malePilot Whale being lifted up and three females, were part of the mass stranding earlier this week at Avalon State Park in Ft. Pierce. Experts from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute cared for the animals temporarily alongside members of the SeaWorld Orlando’s animal care team, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Marine Mammal Conservancy, University of Florida, Ocean Embassy as well as trained volunteers worked tirelessly to help the whales stabilize for their trip this morning to SeaWorld Orlando. Once there, the whales were quarantined for additional observation and treatment.Whale Stranding taking notes

Veterinarians and rescue staff will care for the whales 24 hours a day, including tube-feeding those who are young and unable to eat fish yet.

It is still undetermined why the pod stranded on September 1. Necropsies may shed light on the reason, but it is possible the cause could remain a mystery.

The whales are carefully lifted out of the tanks at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute’s Rehabilitation Center…

Then are carefully lowered into the rehabilitation quarantine pool at SeaWorld Orlando.

Five Pilot Whales Survive Stranding

pilot whale stranding at Ft. PierceSaturday, September 1 in the afternoon, a pod of 22 pilot whales stranded themselves in Ft. Pierce, Florida at Avalon Beach State Park (St. Lucie County). Members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Marine Mammal Conservancy, University of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Harbor Branch, SeaWorld, as well as many, many locals who were in the area tried to save as many of the whales as possible. Despite their best efforts, only 5 juvenile whales survived, two males and three females.

Pilot Whales form tight-knit groups. Scientists aren’t certain why some pods beach themselves, but the predominant theory is that the lead whale either becomes sick or injured, and they stick by him. Even when rescuers attempt to push whales back into the water, they re-beach themselves which is why transport of the surviving whales was necessary.

According to a SeaWorld statement, “The goal is for the whales to transition to SeaWorld Orlando for long-term care, and ultimately be returned back to the ocean.”

If you see an injured or orphaned marine animal, call the FWC hotline at 1-888-404-3922 or dial *FWC on a mobile device.

Rescued Manatee is Pregnant

Pedro Ramos-Navarrate, Supervisor of Animal Care, and SeaWorld Animal Care Experts steady the female manatee in the rescue boat.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescue team members work alongside SeaWorld rescue and rehabilitation workers to transport the injured female manatee rescued near Cocoa Beach, FL.

The 10-foot manatee rescued on June 8 from Sykes Creek in Merritt Island, FL from crab trap line injuries has been determined to be pregnant by SeaWorld animal care experts.

After assessing and treating her injuries to her right flipper, the 1,400-pound adult was given an ultrasound which confirmed the animal care expert’s suspicion (based on her large size). Manatees usually have a 12 month gestation period, though it is unknown exactly how far along she is at present.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research and Many Others Play Role in Winter’s Initial Rescue ¦ Dolphin Tale Article One

Four-year-old Daniel doesn’t quite know what to make of the dolphin
who is missing her tail fluke, but he’s eager to learn!

Winter the Dolphin is in the news quite a bit lately, with her movie debut scheduled for later this month. (Click here to go to the website.) Those of us who’ve read about her for years and have followed her amazing journey from rescued animal to global source of inspiration are not surprised one bit that Hollywood called. How can one NOT be inspired of her story of survival and adaptation despite staggering odds to the contrary?

Caught in a crab trap to the point where her body was bent into a horseshoe, the few-month-old baby Atlantic bottlenose dolphin’s body flailed in the water attracting Mosquito Lagoon fisherman Jim Savage in December, 2005. His call to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission put in motion an army of biologists, and other rescuers, who would work tirelessly for hours in an attempt to save the small dolphin’s life.

Although through movie magic Winter’s rescue seems rather quick it did, in fact, take many hours of a unusually cold Florida day, and into the night.

A research assistant at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Teresa Mazza, was one of the first to respond to the cetacean stranding. When she got there just before 10 a.m., Winter was floating on the surface in the middle of the waterway. Together with the fisherman who found and disentangled her, Teresa and Claire Surrey, a manatee rescue expert from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gently guided her towards a sandbar. The women then took turns holding the dolphin in the frigid water across their laps, monitoring her vital signs, and doing their best to keep the frightened calf calm until about 4:30 when scientists from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce arrived and the transportation team got there to take her to her new home.

It was just before sunset when Winter was loaded into the SeaWorld rescue vehicle for her 165-mile-long long journey across the state to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The Animal Care team gladly accepted the “hand off” and each member crossed fingers and toes in hopes that the struggles of the day were not too much for the exhausted dolphin to bear. They worried, too, if her tail would ever heal from the injuries inflicted.

After hours on the road, more biologists, veterinarians, trainers, and volunteers met the SeaWorld Animal Care team and their very precious cargo. Though badly injured, the dolphin’s spirit showed the staff that they should, indeed, hold out hopes that she could survive.

And survive she did! Winter, named for the winter day she was rescued, is now the goodwill ambassador for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium whose team works day in and day out in her continuing recovery.

Despite workers’ best efforts, Winter did lose her tail. It wasn’t “movie magic” that helped her swim again… but some talented, caring prosthetic experts. But that is another dolphin tale to come!