CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) — Three new manatees found a temporary home in Cincinnati as part of their rescue and rehabilitation plan.
According to Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, three young female manatees, Soleil, Calliope and Piccolina, were transferred to their temporary home in Manatee Springs from ZooTampa in Florida.
The manatees were rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and are doing the next stage in their rehabilitation journey in Cincinnati.
“Piccolina, Calliope and Soleil have amazing stories of survival and resiliency, and each are doing extremely well. We are confident that with continued care at the Cincinnati Zoo, their successful journey will continue as they move towards the eventual goal of returning to Florida waters,” stated Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, senior vice president of animal health, conservation, and education at ZooTampa.
When they were rescued Soleil weighed 53 pounds, Calliope 62 pounds and Piccolina 44 pounds. They are all above 350 pounds now but must weigh at least 600 pounds to be considered for release.
Cincinnati Zoo said the Florida manatee population struggles with watercraft injuries, severe weather, red tide as well as the UME (unusual mortality event) due to a decline in food availability. Many young manatees become orphaned and are in need of human assistance.
Cincinnati Zoo, a member of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, is a second-stage rehabilitation facility that will provide food and veterinary care to the manatees until they are big and strong enough to return to Florida.
“While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the trio, their move allows us to continue our steadfast commitment to save Florida’s iconic species as we head into the critical winter months,” said Stringfield.
For more information on Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, click here.