Four Young Manatees Arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Yesterday
By Patty Peters
Powell, OH - By Four young manatees, all estimated to be about one and a half years of age and weighing between 250-500 pounds, arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium yesterday. Three of the four were rescued in Florida after falling victim to the harsh winter resulting in a condition called manatee cold-stress syndrome and one was hit by a boat. They are still recovering and will receive quality care and rehabilitation at the Columbus Zoo with the hope they can one day be released as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Program. The Columbus Zoo was the first program partner outside of the state of Florida and is one of only two facilities outside of Florida to care for manatees.
Zoo staff escorted the three males “Bartlett”, “Hamilton” and “Tippecanoe” and female “Fraulein” from Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo where they have been cared for until their health stabilized. After a period of adjustment in a quarantine pool the four juvenile manatees will join adult females “Holly” and “Stubby” who have been at the Columbus Zoo since 2006. The six manatees are the most ever cared for at one time in the Zoo’s Manatee Coast habitat built in 1999.
Even though an average manatee can weigh more than 1,000 lbs. they have very little body fat to keep them warm and it is difficult for a manatee to survive in water when the temperature is below 68 degrees. In cold water the manatee’s metabolism slows leading to digestion problems, decreased appetite, and associated weight loss which weakens their immune systems and makes them vulnerable to environmental toxins resulting in infections and skin sores.
It has been a difficult year for endangered manatees due to prolonged, record low temperatures in Florida resulting in the vast majority of the more than 450 manatee deaths and more than 50 manatees rescued in the first three months of 2010. That total breaks the annual record of 429 manatee deaths in all of 2009. Collisions with boats also pose a major threat to manatees, whose natural habitat is Florida’s slow moving rivers and shallow coastal areas. At the end of 2009 there were approximately 3,800 manatees.
“While we focus on getting these little guys healthy enough to return to the waters of Florida, we have a unique opportunity to educate our guests about the plight of the manatee,” stated Columbus Zoo Director Dale Schmidt. “It is a privilege to be a partner in such an important program.”
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium supports field conservation projects for three of the four living species of manatees through our Conservation Fund. Providing grants to researchers on three continents (North America, South America, and Africa), the Zoo contributes to rescue and rehabilitation in Florida, environmental education focused on the Amazonian manatee in Colombia, and critical population surveys for the least known species—the West African manatee.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open 363 days of the year 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Memorial Day weekend and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. General admission is $12.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 2 to 9 and seniors 60+. Children under 2 and Columbus Zoo members are free. The Zoo was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.) For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.
To view Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-20-Colombus_Zoo_and_Aquarium
Congratulations to ABQ BioPark and the proud cat parents on the birth of three snow leopard cubs. That's fantastic news and we look forward to these three playing an important role in snow leopard survival breeding and also helping educate people about their endangered cousins in the wild.
Snow leopards live in some of the most extreme environments on earth - in high altitudes and freezing temperatures. If we don't do a lot of work with communities and governments in snow leopards 12 range countries, these beautiful cats may be extinct in the wild in our life time.
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I especially liked if you go to the zoo's homepage and click on the info about naming the baby, the winner says she'd like to be able to tell her dad that a penguin was named after him for his birthday. Adorable!
If you have any interest in reading a new blog, featuring conservation of adorable animals and their habitats, please check out my website...
For more information about World Oceans Day and a list of other events in your area you can visit www.WorldOceansDay.org
Asome news on the new baby! I agree with everyone here on the fact that animals should not be in captivation. If you want to check out a really cool place in Thailand where you can care for elephants check out http://www.elephantstay.com this place is a sanctuary for retired working elephants, it's an amazing place and they do so much good for the animals who live there. I went a few months ago and it was amazing.
It's ridiculous to try extrapolate zoo animals diet to human beings, and it flies in the face of all science of the last 30 years that looked into nutrition and health research. Maybe Rudy Socha was being sarcastic? I hope so.
I fully agree with you when it comes to the captivity of orcas. These animals live considerably shorter, unhealthier lives than they normally would have in the wild. I am disgusted by what I have seen at Sea World. They claim to be trying to educate people on the animals when really it is all nothing but a circus with the animals being made to perform to attract customers. I am a little more on the fence however when it comes to some other species of dolphins, such as the ones they keep at Vancouver Aquarium. While I do not support the capture of wild dolphins, I do recognize the fact that there are species that actually live longer and perhaps healthier lives in captivity than in the wild. One of the neat things at the Vancouver Aquarium is that none of the dolphins were captured for the purpose of entertainment: they were all animals that were rescued after getting caught and injured in fishing nets and are unable to return to the wild due to their injuries. I have seen the shows and the aquarium are truly focused more on educating visitors than trying to entertain them at the animals' expense.
I know that Christian is dedicated to her aquarium job and to the rehab of sea turtles. I am proud of her.
The seashore, our accredited Summer Learning Adventure Camps merge scientific exploration Dry Tortugas National Park with hands-on fun and learning. Campers investigate marine habitats, create ocean art projects, learn about careers in oceanography, and combine the science and sports of surfing and snorkeling, all while making new friends and memories.
http://www.deafmatching.com is an online community for deaf, ASL and hearing-impaired friends and singles!
Have fun with photos, message boards, chat, blog and more.
I think we should move on from having dolphins in captivity now - we all know this isn't good for them.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a magical place. The flora, fauna, remoteness and beauty are exquisite. Another interesting aspect is how the indigenous people there live. To learn more and see photos taken by indigenous children in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, you can visit ninosdelaamazonia.org
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