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Rescued manatee calf comes to South Florida Museum's rehab program | Urban Wildlife

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Rescued manatee calf comes to South Florida Museum's rehab program
Urban Wildlife
Rescued manatee calf comes to South Florida Museum's rehab program

Bradenton, Florida -- The animal care staff at the South Florida Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium is planning for the arrival of a young male manatee calf this afternoon.

The manatee, nicknamed Charlie, has been undergoing rehabilitation since Nov. 2010 at Miami Seaquarium, an attraction which also operates as a critical care facility for injured, sick manatees or orphaned calves.  Charlie is being transferred to the South Florida Museum for continued care and rehabilitation.

Charlie was originally rescued from the Gasparilla Sound, part of the greater Charlotte Harbor watershed, with his mother who sustained injuries from a watercraft and subsequently did not survive. At the time of rescue, Charlie was a dependent calf and his medical status was considered stable.

 “We are glad the Museum is able to provide an environment for this manatee as he continues to grow and develops a stronger appetite,” said Marilyn Margold, Director of Living Collections for the South Florida Museum. “Once he exhibits proper feeding patterns used by wild manatees as well as other criteria, we will work with our consulting vet Dr. David Murphy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a release plan.”

As part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership, the South Florida Museum is a second stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release into the wild.  The South Florida Museum has cared for 22 manatees as part of the rehabilitation program since joining the network in 1998, making Charlie the 23rd manatee to be cared for at the museum as part of the rehabilitation program. Charlie will be joining two other manatees currently in the Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium: Brandee, a young female undergoing rehabilitation and Snooty, the Museum’s long-term resident manatee.

The public is welcome to visit the South Florida Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium to view Charlie, Brandee and Snooty as part of the Museum’s general admission beginning on Wednesday, May 18.

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