SeaWorld's Role in Manatee PreservationNovember 8, 2021
November marks the start of National Manatee Awareness Month, and it couldn’t come at a more critical time for the species. Florida’s manatees are currently experiencing an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) – a larger than normal number of fatalities among a given marine mammal population. This year has seen a record number of manatee deaths – almost 1,000 – and as a result, has sparked much conservation among the community of returning these animals to the endangered species list. Agencies and organizations alike are joining forces to help protect and preserve the manatees left and provide care for those who need support.
“The manatee is a national treasure and Florida’s official marine mammal and all of us owe a duty of care to do everything possible to prevent these gentles giants from disappearing forever from our waterways,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “We are working across the aisle to introduce legislation to grant manatees the highest level of federal protection possible. But we can’t get it done alone: involvement by every-day people and committed private sector groups like SeaWorld are a vital part of solving this equation.”
SeaWorld plays an important role in the preservation of manatees. Since 1976, we have completed nearly 1,300 rescues, rehabilitations and returns of manatees in need in partnership with other organizations and agencies, making us the largest manatee rescue operation in the U.S. We operate one of only five critical care facilities in the U.S. and have been making scientific advances that increase the survival rate of orphaned, sick, and injured manatees. SeaWorld also extends support into the community with financial grants for non-profit groups and school programs for kids. We also partner with leading academic and research institutions, non-profits, animal welfare groups, and government agencies as part of our commitment to species conservation and rescue, rehabilitation, and return.
“We are very grateful to the SeaWorld team because we know the answer will always be yes when we call to ask for their help with an animal in need,” said Larry Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Florida state supervisor. “We know we can depend on them around the clock and their dedication of time, resources and veterinary care in the rescue of animals under even the most challenging of circumstances is testament to SeaWorld’s dedication to wildlife conservation.”