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01-08-15 Manatee milestone
Jan 08, 2015

New Year, New Milestone for Florida Wildlife Conservation at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

This week, four endangered manatees will receive a second chance at life in the wild after rehabilitation at the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. With these releases, the Zoo will reach another milestone in Florida wildlife conservation: more than 200 manatee patients successfully rehabilitated and returned to Florida waters.

200+ Manatee Survivors Returned to Florida Waters

TAMPA, Fla. (January 8, 2015) — This week, four endangered manatees will receive a second chance at life in the wild after rehabilitation at the David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. With these releases, the Zoo will reach another milestone in Florida wildlife conservation: more than 200 manatee patients successfully rehabilitated and returned to Florida waters.

Among the 200 success stories are four young adult manatees returning home after 11-13 months of care (representing release numbers 200, 201, 202 and 203):

  • “Burnie” was rescued December 27, 2013 from Matlacha Pass in Cape Coral with a severe pectoral entanglement. After the necessary removal of her left fin and successful healing, she has grown from 245 pounds to 745 pounds. She was released today at a restricted access site in Lee County.
  • “Venice” was rescued February 6, 2014 from Sarasota County, suffering from cold stress. She has recovered and grown from 410 pounds to 695 pounds. She was released today at a restricted access site in Lee County.
  • “Ace” was rescued January 10, 2014 from Charlotte County, suffering from cold stress. He was released today by the South Florida Museum where he was transferred in April 2014 for housing.
  • “PinellaIce” was rescued January 27, 2014 from Pinellas County, also suffering from cold stress. She has recovered and grown from 430 pounds to 805 pounds. She will be released Friday, January 9 in Hillsborough County.

The David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo focuses on critical care for injured, sick and orphaned wild manatees. As part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the Zoo provides life-saving medical care to manatees rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The Zoo’s facility is the only non-profit acute care facility in the world specifically dedicated to manatee rehabilitation, and one of just three contracted and federally permitted manatee rehabilitation facilities in the state of Florida. Since opening its facility in 1991, the Zoo has treated more than 360 wild manatees and reintroduced more than 200 into Florida waters.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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