SeaWorld Released Two Rescued Manatees (Video)

SeaWorld Orlando is typically in the hot seat when it comes to animal welfare news stories, but last week their Animal Care Team released two manatees into the wild after rescuing and nursing them back to health.

Both of the manatees were rescued by SeaWorld due to “cold stress.” Mud Puppy, a 765-pound manatee, was rescued from the Indian River in Indialantic, FL in January 2011. Bodacious, an 800-pound manatee was rescued from the San Sebastian River in Sebastian, FL in February 2011.

Manatees typically swim to warmer waters during periods of cold weather, but not all of them are able to move fast enough to find protection. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that 112 manatees died from freezing temperatures in 2011.

Mud Puppy and Bodacious had to be tube-fed fluids to keep them hydrated and treated with antibiotics. Once they were feeling better, they spent the rest of the year rehabilitating.

Michelle Davis, senior veterinarian at SeaWorld Orlando, said, “Bodacious and Mud Puppy have been doing great for several months. They’re in great condition.”

On February 7, the Animal Care Team transported the manatees to the Banana River where they were carried into a canal and released. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tagged the animals with transponders and will continue to monitor their progress.

Davis said, “We placed some markings on Bodacious and Mud Puppy, on their backs, with some non-toxic paint so that we can follow them from above when they’re underwater and we can tell where they’re going and who’s who.”

Davis reported that the animals are healthy and active since their release and is pleased with the success of the project.  During the past 45 years the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment company has rescued more than 20,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals.


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Isabelle J.
Isabelle J.4 years ago


Monique D.
Mon D.4 years ago

Good work Seaworld!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

I wish Mud Puppy and Bodacious the best of luck!!!

Carole H.
Carole H.4 years ago

well done on this sea world - how about releasing the rest of your `prisioners' - the dolphins and whales etc. that really would be good news

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta4 years ago

Nice to hear some good news for a change :-)

Sarah M.
Sarah M.4 years ago

Yay, something good.

Nancy L.
Nancy L.4 years ago

Fantastic news!!

Carrie Anne Brown

good news thanks for sharing :)

Alex H.
Alex H.4 years ago

Sorry,this one action on the part of Seaworld does not alter my complete contempt of them and everything they stand for.Keeping animals like killer whales and dolphins in captivity and deprivation,and forcing them to do stupid tricks for even more stupid humans is a disgrace,and totally out of place in a modern supposedly compassionate society that purports to care about animal welfare.Huge marine mammals swim thousands of miles in their natural state,so to keep them in small pools is just disgusting and the height of mental and physical cruelty!!!By the way,what has happened to poor wretched "Tilikum"?He would be better off dead than living like that!Good riddance to those he turned on!Why doesn't he get liberated;he deserves the chance to live in the wild!!!!!

Amanda M.
A. M.4 years ago

Why not Sea World animal rescuers rather than Sea World use marine animals in captivity to make money? It makes sense because the people who work for Sea World would probably rather be rescuing than exploiting marine animals.