Saturday, February 28, 2009

a special manatee release

Oh, how it makes my heart so happy to hear uplifting stories about animals!

You may be aware that SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida has a manatee rehabilitation program. They rescue injured and ill manatees in the wild, rehabilitate them and, if possible and safe for the manatees, return them to the wild. It's a fabulous program! When you visit SeaWorld's manatee exhibit, the manatees you see there are all in some phase of rehabilitation, so the exhibit is ever-changing.

And this week, there was quite a success story there! SeaWorld released Rita, a manatee rescued 26 years ago (!!!), back into the wild at Blue Springs State Park (north of Orlando), which is a haven for manatees during the winter ... at left, that's her being lowered into the water.

Rita was rescued after her right pectoral flipper was caught in a crab trap and, unfortunately, it needed to be amputated (look closely in the photo, you'll see that it's missing). Here's the press release with all the details, including how they had to use a crane to lift her because she's a whopping 3,000 pounds and 12 feet long! Whoa!

And what fun is this? SeaWorld has set up a website where you can follow Rita's movements, courtesy of the tracking device she's wearing. You'll see that she has already been on the move A LOT, wow! You go girl!

Now I'm off to a fun event at a scrapbook store ... more on that later! :-)

Enjoy the weekend,

1 comment:

Momofboys said...

wow what an amazing story!! it's so neat how they can keep track of these animals they release. thanks for the news! hope you had fun at your scrapbooking event!!