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SeaWorld is the leading rehab facility for rescued manatees, taking care of about 40% of them. (Image Courtesy SeaWorld)
Central Florida News

Partnership that rescues and rehabs ailing manatees will expand its efforts

The public-private partnership that rescues and rehabs manatees is planning to up its game in a big way in preparation for next winter. At a press conference Wednesday, biologist Terri Calleson with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expects to see an increase of over 50% in the current capacity to rehabilitate starving or injured manatees. She says the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership — in Florida and across the country — can handle about a hundred animals and is currently rehabbing 89. SeaWorld Orlando, with about 40 spots, is expanding and adding pools, and so are other rehab facilities, Calleson says. “And all of that’s being done in anticipation of trying to accommodate higher numbers of manatees needing to come …
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State and federal biologists provided supplemental lettuce earlier this year for starving manatees in the Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy FWC

Habitat Protections for Florida’s Threatened Manatees Get an Overdue Update

ORLANDO, Fla.—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update and improve habitat protections for the state’s ailing manatees over the next two years, under a legal agreement announced this week. The agreement comes as the gentle sea cows face extraordinary habitat challenges in Florida, most notably widespread water quality problems and seagrass losses in the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon, crucial manatee habitat on the east coast. 
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