Two endangered manatees have a second chance at life in the wild after critical care at the Manatee Hospital at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. A manatee mother and her dependent calf were rescued March 15, 2016 in waters near Tarpon Springs after the mother was injured in a watercraft collision. “Shamrock,” a 810-pound female, arrived with a pneumothorax injury (collapsed lung) which healed after three months of care. Her dependent calf, “Emerald,” a healthy 335-pound female, accompanied her. The pair returned to Tarpon Springs waters on June 23, 2016 at Spring Bayou, winter home to numerous manatees.
To date, the Manatee Hospital at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has taken in more than 400 wild manatees for critical care for a variety of severe illnesses and catastrophic injuries including boat strikes, cold stress, orphans, entanglement and red tide exposure. Of those, more than 230 have survived and been returned to Florida waters.