SeaWorld Releases Rehabilitated Mother-Calf Manatee Pair

SeaWorld Orlando, a renowned marine theme park, has successfully released Reckless and Churro, a mother and calf manatee duo, back to Broward County in Florida. After undergoing over a year of extensive rehabilitation at the Rescue Center, the pair has finally returned to their natural habitat, as announced by the park on Friday.

The remarkable journey of Reckless and Churro began in May 2022 when Reckless was critically injured due to a boat strike. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the SeaWorld Orlando team sprang into action, administering twelve lifesaving procedures and providing more than 17,000 hours of specialized care to the manatee pair.

A significant aspect of the rehabilitation process was the preservation of the bond between Reckless and Churro, as it was crucial for their joint return to the wild. Dr. Stacy DiRocco, the senior veterinarian at SeaWorld Orlando, emphasized the initial poor prognosis for Reckless upon her arrival at the park. However, the determination of the veterinary team and the fighting spirit of the mother and calf pair enabled them to overcome numerous challenges. Reckless’ treatment included amputation of her pectoral flipper, multiple surgeries to combat infection and promote healing, radiographs, cold laser therapy, gastroscopy, and intensive medical care.

To monitor the well-being of Reckless and Churro in their natural habitat, the manatee duo has been fitted with tracking belts. This innovative approach will provide valuable data that contributes to the ongoing efforts to ensure their continued safety and thriving.

The successful rehabilitation of Reckless and Churro has garnered praise from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Andy Garrett, the statewide manatee stranding coordinator, expressed the Commission’s unwavering commitment to manatee conservation and acknowledged the significance of SeaWorld Orlando’s efforts. By rehabilitating and releasing these two healthy female manatees, SeaWorld Orlando has made a notable contribution to the preservation of this vulnerable species.

SeaWorld Orlando’s release of Reckless and Churro aligns with their broader initiatives to address the decline in manatee populations caused by an unusual mortality event. The park takes pride in being the largest manatee rescue operation in the United States, with three critical care centers capable of accommodating up to 60 manatees. Their advanced amenities and expert staff have allowed SeaWorld to assist over 1,300 manatees during the ongoing crisis.

As SeaWorld Orlando continues its commitment to the welfare and conservation of manatees, it remains at the forefront of marine rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Their dedication and expertise serve as a beacon of hope for the protection of these magnificent creatures, ensuring a brighter future for manatee populations.

To learn more about the incredible journey of Reckless and Churro, watch an exclusive interview with Dr. Stacy DiRocco in the video below.

WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved. (Copyright 2024)

Related Articles

Back to top button