Rescued Manatee Continues Its Recovery In Connecticut
Mystic Aquarium is hosting its first-ever Florida manatee -- an 800 pound creature rescued last week from the waters of Cape Cod Bay in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Sarah Callan from Mystic Aquarium said it's uncommon, but not unprecedented for manatees to travel this far north. But biologists got concerned when the animal didn't head back south, as water temperatures drop. "Typically they are in water temperatures ranging from about 75 to 80, 84 degrees," Callan said. "We actually picked her up just in time because water temperatures in Cape Cod are at 67 right now."
After being pulled from the water, the manatee was driven to Mystic Aquarium. It was lifted by crane into a pool -- and will stay there briefly before being flown to an animal rehab clinic in Florida. "Basically we're the holding facility for her, just to make sure that she's eating well and that her health is good," Callan said.
Callan said the animal is eating well - getting about 80 pounds of lettuce and spinach daily.
The Florida manatee is federally protected, but numbers have been increasing in recent years.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 6,300 manatees are now in Florida, up from around 1,000 in the early 1990s.
The animal at Mystic is recovering and officials say it's not on view to the public.