SeaWorld Orlando Offers New Viewing Opportunity for Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation
Behind-the-scenes of the SeaWorld theme park is a bustling, 5-acre Rescue Center used for rehabilitating rescued wildlife. While a guided tour of the entire facility has been available for years, with ten percent of the cost donated to helping wildlife, the park has now opened up sections of the manatee rehabilitation area for complimentary viewing to all guests.
Visitors are invited to step behind-the-scenes and catch a glimpse of SeaWorld’s working manatee rescue and rehabilitation facility to learn more about the plight of these vulnerable animals in the wild. Park guests can see firsthand the top problems today’s manatee populations are facing and learn simple actions to help. In addition to viewing the animals currently undergoing rehabilitation, guests can also see their digital medical charts, interactive exhibits, an underwater viewing camera and videos of the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team in action.
SeaWorld’s goal for every animal rescued is to successfully rehabilitate and return it to the wild. The team works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to determine when a manatee is ready to be returned as well as the proper time and location.
This opportunity is one of the first steps in the company’s vision to “turn the park inside out” and show guests how the company is helping wild animals in need.
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), SeaWorld Orlando is an acute care rehabilitation facility that provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.
The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees. Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.wildtracks.org. The endangered Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and mortality. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are all natural problems that can affect manatees. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.