"Saving The Manatees — Rescue By Rescue, Rehab By Rehab"

"Florida is scrambling to prevent another horrific year of starvation deaths among the beloved mammals"

"ORLANDO — On an unusually cold winter morning in central Florida, Corleone the manatee was awakened before dawn by wetsuited workers who slipped into his pool at SeaWorld and wrapped him in a long vinyl sling.

A crane slowly hoisted him out of the water and carefully lowered him to the rear door of an empty box truck, where other staff pushed, pulled and slid their “manatee burrito” inside. Two hopped in to keep Corleone company on his latest journey.

“He’s very chill. He’s such a good traveler,” rescue specialist Maggie Mariolis said. “He should be, because he’s done a lot of it lately.”

Mariolis was part of the team that in mid-November brought Corleone some 310 miles from Hilton Head, S.C., where he’d gotten stuck in a canal near a golf course, far from his winter feeding grounds in Florida and at risk of succumbing to cold stress. Ensuring his survival was part of an increasingly urgent effort to save the manatee population, which has been dying off at alarming speeds in the past 14 months, especially along Florida’s Atlantic coast."

Lori Rozsa reports for the Washington Poat January 23, 2022.

Source: Washington Post, 01/24/2022