COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is now home to a pair of rehabilitating manatee orphans.
The two new additions to Manatee Coast are the 28th and 29th manatees to be rehabilitated at the Columbus Zoo since the Zoo’s involvement in the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership began in 2001.
One of the manatees is a male named Heavy Falcon, a nod to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch that took place on the same day he was rescued. He’s already a healthy 143-pounds.
The second calf is a female who was rescued on February 8 while her mother was negatively buoyant. Unfortunately, the calf’s mother succumbed to her serious injuries just two days after her rescue.
The Columbus Zoo says both calves began their rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando. After completing their recovery here in Columbus, they will eventually be released back to Florida waters.
They’ll be visible to Zoo guests as soon as late Tuesday morning. Guests should keep in mind, however, that both manatees will also have access to behind-the-scenes areas as they continue to adjust to their new environment.