July 24th, 2012 2:40 PM by Brent Ferry
A manatee rescued by SeaWorld earlier this summer gave birth last Wednesday.
(Photo: SeaWorld Orlando)
Read the full story on SeaWorld's Animals & Conservation Blog.
In addition to a theme park, SeaWorld has a rescue team. They are also a rehabilitation facility. They have rescued 12 manatees so far this year.
Sadly, over 200 have died already in 2012. Mortality statistic for Florida Manatees have been collected since 1974.
Approximately a quarter of the deaths this year were watercraft related. Approximately another quarter of them surrounded childbirth making this story even more touching.
Manatees are an endangered species. They are protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act and federally by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act.
Locally, you can see manatees at SeaWorld Orlando's all new Turtle Trek attraction, which opened in April of this year, featuring naturalistic manatee and sea turtle exhibits and a state-of-the-art first-of-its-kind 3D 360 degree film experience. You can also find them at The Seas with Nemo & Friends (formerly The Living Seas) at Epcot. If you will be in the area during the winter months, you can view manatees in the wild at Blue Spring State Park.
I captured the following photo on Valentine's Day at Blue Spring State Park where manatees numbered into the hundreds take refuge in the spring's crystal clear 73 degree water. Cold stress is another leading cause of manatee deaths.