CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. (AP) — An ailing manatee that was discovered and rehabilitated in Texas late final 12 months was flown to Florida on a cargo airplane and launched right into a bay close to a wildlife refuge alongside the Gulf Coast this week.
The manatee named TexasTeeMiguel was launched Wednesday into Kings Bay in Crystal River, Florida. Late final week, TexasTeeMiguel flew on a DHL Specific cargo airplane in a customized, state-of-the-art container constructed particularly for manatees.
Within the container, the manatee rested on a foam mattress and was coated in wool and house blankets to take care of a wholesome physique temperature. TexasTeeMiguel was misted with water beneath its blankets all through the journey.
It was a 24-hour journey from San Antonio with stops in Austin and Cincinnati earlier than reaching Orlando, the place a staff from SeaWorld Orlando saved TexasTeeMiguel for statement to ensure the manatee had not been pressured by the journey.
TexasTeeMiguel was present in Texas waters final December affected by chilly stress, flipper harm and extreme weight reduction, accidents seemingly incurred from a ship strike. TexasTeeMiguel was tagged and shall be tracked and monitored throughout the subsequent 12 months.
Earlier this 12 months, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee officers mentioned there have been 92 rescued manatees being handled at rehabilitation facilities across the nation — most of them in Florida together with important care services at SeaWorld in Orlando and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
A scarcity of seagrass forage throughout winter months has triggered an unprecedented die-off of manatees, together with a document of greater than 1,100 final 12 months. The FWC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in March accomplished an experimental program that fed manatees greater than 202,000 kilos (91,600 kilograms) of donated lettuce close to an influence plant the place the animals collect throughout colder months.