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Jul 22, 2013
Arlington, VA
SeaWorld’s rescue program has been highlighted in the Washington Post article. I know it is behind a paywall, but I think everyone gets a few free articles per month?

A few excerpts:

On an unusually cold winter morning in central Florida, Corleone the manatee was awakened before dawn by wetsuited workers who slipped into his pool at SeaWorld and wrapped him in a long vinyl sling.

In mid-January, SeaWorld sent four much-improved manatees to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. Corleone’s departure on Tuesday opened up space for another creature, and his release into the wild was one of the few positive notes. It meant he was strong enough.

He’d arrived in Orlando on Nov. 17, a young adult weighing about 730 pounds. He was put in a pool at SeaWorld with two other manatees and given all the romaine he wanted. He went through daily weigh-ins and had vital signs checked by a team of veterinarians and rescue specialists. During the next two months, he ate his way through enough greens to now tip the scale at 845. His optimal adult weight is about 1,000 pounds.

The celebration over Corleone’s successful release didn’t last long on Tuesday, though. His handlers packed up and returned to SeaWorld, where the rescue team remains on high alert. Members are bottle-feeding young orphans — sometimes found swimming alone, other times still beside their dead mothers. Since calves nurse for up to two years, such circumstances often are deadly.
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