An update for friends and fans on Fredi, who was rescued from a mass stranding in 2011February 2, 2019
A rescued female pilot whale at SeaWorld Orlando, who has battled continued health issues since her mass stranding and rescue in 2011, is currently being treated for a persistent infection. For the past year, she has been receiving treatment as determined by SeaWorld Orlando veterinary staff. Even though she has had health difficulties, she has shown her resilient spirit and recovered each time. However, the latest outlook from her veterinarians is still uncertain as she struggles to fight off this difficult infection. Our veterinary team charged with caring for her since she arrived continues to provide around-the-clock care as we do everything possible to help her recover.
Fredi’s Incredible Journey
The animal was a part of a mass stranding of approximately 24 pilot whales that occurred in 2011 in the Florida Keys. The SeaWorld rescue team was deployed to assist, and the team was embedded on-site for two months assisting with the operation, in collaboration with National Marine Fisheries Services (NOAA) and other rescue organizations.
Eight of the stranded animals initially survived; two were lifted onto a barge and returned 40 miles off the coast. The remaining 14 animals perished on the beach, despite the 24/7 tireless efforts of the dedicated teams.
After several weeks at the Marine Mammal Conservancy, only two of the stranded animals remained – 300 and 301. In July 2011, NOAA determined that SeaWorld Orlando was the best place for them, given the park’s high level of expertise and animal care on stranded animals.
Fredi has lived the past eight years at SeaWorld with a pod of rescued pilot whales and received world-class care and a second chance she would not have had otherwise.
“It was heartbreaking for all of us to put in so much effort to help these animals, only to watch many of them die on the beach. We were, however, gratified that we were able to rescue several of the animals, including the two who eventually came to SeaWorld Orlando.” - Jon Peterson, manager of the SeaWorld Orlando rescue team who helped Fredi.
Our Continuing Rescue Mission
SeaWorld is a part of a broad team of experts from various organizations. Whenever our partners call SeaWorld for help, our team answers – without question.
SeaWorld’s involvement in the rescue of more than 33,000 animals makes it a go-to resource. It is a critical partner to call on to save or improve the lives of struggling marine animals.
Our goal for every rescued animal is to return it to the wild. There are times, however, when it is determined an animal cannot be returned to the wild. SeaWorld is one of the primary facilities considered to provide a home. This is largely because of its world-class veterinary facilities, experience and unrivaled expertise. One of the other pilot whales rescued from the mass stranding suffered from severe scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, that prevented her from swimming normally. In that instance, our team developed a custom orthopedic brace to care for the once-stranded pilot whale, helping to extend her life.
Our rescue efforts are constant and ongoing. On January 29, 2019, a 725-pound sub-adult manatee arrived at SeaWorld Orlando's critical care animal hospital, suffering from symptoms of cold stress, including abbesses and dehydration. The manatee was rescued by Florida Fish and Wildlife, Sea2Shore, and a local chapter of the Save the Manatee Club. The animal was transported to SeaWorld Orlando after a field assessment. Veterinarians immediately began medical treatment and rehabilitation, including antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive care.
To date, SeaWorld’s team of experts includes veterinarians, dieticians, and a dedicated rescue team who have helped rescue more than 33,000 other animals. This dedicated team of specialists are on standby to assist animals in need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When the call comes to assist an injured or severely ill animal, we bring our passion and expertise in hopes of improving the life of that animal.