On Thursday of this week, a rehabilitated manatee was transported by SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to SeaWorld Orlando. The male Florida manatee named Trinidad got a literal “lift” courtesy of a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue airplane.
Since his rescue at the end of November, Trinidad had been under the care of the rehabilitation team at SeaWorld San Antonio. The manatee had been found, in a cold stressed, malnourished and dehydrated state by a deputy with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office swimming in the cold waters of the NRG Energy power plant outflow in Trinity Bay near Houston.
Now, healthy enough to make the trip to Florida, Trinidad was transported to Orlando where the team a SeaWorld there will complete his rehabilitation and get him ready for eventual return to his natural environment.
According to a statement, the research team was able to identify Trinidad as a manatee previously seen in the Tampa Bay area back in December 2001. Apparently, the manatee lost his way and traveled the gulf coast ending up in Texas.
“Today marks a huge milestone for Trinidad, and the next big step will be his eventual release to the warmer waters in Tampa Bay,” said Chris Bellows, SeaWorld San Antonio’s Vice President of Zoological Operations. “It has been a great team effort and the real reward will be seeing this animal in his home waters in Florida.”
“We’re delighted to have Trinidad back in Florida,” said Jim Valade, Florida Manatee Recovery Coordinator, USFWS. “His successful rescue, treatment and return flight home is due to the remarkable efforts of partners working together to save manatees.”