MRP Partners Coordinate Big MoveOctober 18, 2017
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a manatee? That's right, this week manatees were taking flight in a coordinated efforts between members of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership. The manatee palooza began with two healthy manatees, BamBam and Betsy, making there way back down south to Florida waters and four young calves heading north to gain weight!
BamBam will get his second chance early next year after spending the next couple of months at our manatee rehab facility. The teams are waiting to return him during a cold snap, so he can learn where the warm water sources are. BamBam was rescued back in 2015 due to severe cold stress, so we want to set him up for success and introduce him to a warm water source where he can follow other manatees migration patterns.
Betsy, a Cincinnati Zoo resident since 2010 and companion to nine rescued manatees during that time, has returned to her birthplace, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, just in time to celebrate her 27th birthday! She is not considered a candidate for release and will be cared for at the park long term.
The four orphaned manatee calves, Pippen, Miles, Matthew and Goober, heading north will spend the next couple of years growing until they reach the weight and size necessary to be returned. Pippen, Miles and Matthew are heading to Cincinnati while Goober will call the Columbus Zoo home until he is ready to be returned.
The multi-institution moves represent collaborative efforts by participants of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), a program designed to rescue and treat sick, injured and orphaned manatees and then release them back into the wild. BamBam will be the 14th manatee to be released after being rehabilitated at the Cincinnati Zoo.