Rescued Manatee Gives Birth

SeaWorld rescuing manatee

SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue team traveled to Sykes Creek in Merritt Island, Fla., on June 8 to rescue the 10-foot manatee that had severe injuries to the front right flipper caused by a crab pot line.

Back in June, the animal rescue team at SeaWorld Orlando came to the aid of a 10-foot manatee who was injured and caught in a fishing line in Sykes Creek in Merritt Island, Florida. The 1,380-pound manatee was transported to SeaWorld so that veterinarians could treat her injuries.  Her right flipper was severely injured and had to be amputated.

On July 18, the manatee gave birth to a healthy calf.  The baby has been nursing and bonding with its mother in SeaWorld Orlando’s back area pool. The animal team will continue to monitor the pair.

Rescued manatee and calf

Approximately six weeks after her rescue, rescued manatee gives birth to a calf at SeaWorld Orlando on the morning of July 18, 2012.

Rescued manatee and calf

The mother and baby will be monitored by SeaWorld’s animal team while they bond in the back area pool.

SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team Saves Stranded Baby Dolphin

Rescued baby dolphin at SeaWorld

Preliminary tests have showed no major health issues in the newborn dolphin rescued on May 20, but to ensure the young animal gets the essential nutrients he needs, SeaWorld’s animal team has been manually tube-feeding the dolphin every two hours.

A newborn bottlenose dolphin was discovered stranded in shallow waters off of Three Sisters Island in Florida on Sunday.  SeaWorld’s animal rescue team, in conjunction with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, transported the baby to SeaWorld’s facility in Orlando for medical testing and care.

Due to its size (just under 35 pounds), its upright dorsal fin, and its still-attached umbilical cord, SeaWorld‘s animal care experts believe the male dolphin to be no more than five days old.  Usually baby dolphins nurse from their mothers until they are 12-18 months old.  Animal care experts have been tube-feeding the youngster every two hours.

To learn more about bottlenose dolphins, see our Bottlenose Dolphin Facts Page.

SeaWorld Rescues Two Endangered Baby Turtles

SeaWorld Orlando‘s animal rescue team is currently caring for two hawksbill turtle hatchlings.  Both are about two months old. One of the babies was found in a weakened, lethargic state on Melbourne Beach in Florida by a tourist.  The other hatchling was found on Cocoa Beach covered in algae and fauna.

Baby hawksbill turtle found lethargic on Melbourne Beach.

Baby hawksbill turtle found lethargic on Melbourne Beach.

Baby hawksbill turtle found on Cocoa Beach covered in algae and fauna.

Baby hawksbill turtle found on Cocoa Beach covered in algae and fauna.

SeaWorld turtle experts (or aquarists), are monitoring and caring for the turtles around the clock. The hatchlings are living in a brooder (a heated shelter) which is kept at a constant 84 degrees F. Although recovery will be tough, the turtles are showing positive signs.

Hawksbill turtles are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Redlist due to loss of habitat and human exploitation.

Five Rescued Eaglets Released into the Wild

Bald eagle released into wild

The Wildlife Center of Virginia releases one of five juvenile eaglets into the wild. Photo by the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

On Wednesday, the Wildlife Center of Virginia had cause for celebration when they released five juvenile bald eagles into the wild.

Three of the eagles were famous because a webcam had been tracking their daily activities in their nest at a botanical garden.  However, when their mother was killed after being struck by an airplane in April, webcam viewers became concerned for the chicks and alerted the wildlife rescuers. So the Wildlife Center of Virginia took the chicks into their care.

The other two eaglets were rescued independently; one was found in a landfill with its wing caught in some netting, and the other was found in a field in an emaciated condition.

For more information about the eagles’ release, see:

Wildlife Center of Virginia
The News Virginian

To learn more about bald eagles, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Bald Eagle.

Rare All-White Kiwi Hatched

May 1st saw the hatching of a rare all-white kiwi at the Pukaha Mount Bruce national wildlife center in New Zealand. The bird is not an albino, but does have white feathers. He was given the Manukura by members of the local Maori tribe.

Manukura is thought to be the first all-white kiwi born in captivity.

Kiwi are native to New Zealand and have had their population numbers drop, mainly due to the European stoat, an introduced species. All five species of kiwi are endangered.

For more visit Scientific American.

Disabled Penguin Receives Custom Boot

Lucky is a Humboldt penguin born at the Santa Barbara Zoo in April 2010.  As he grew up, zoo keepers noticed that he walked with a limp.  Further testing showed that his leg was not developing properly.  If not helped, he would eventually suffer from infections from the sores on his feet.  Teva, a sponsor of the zoo, was called in to help.  The footwear company custom created a boot that would assist Lucky when walking and swimming.

Watch the story below:

Stolen Koala is Found

An elderly koala (13 years old) named Banjo was stolen from an Australian wildlife park on Tuesday. Thieves had broken into Banjo’s enclosure with bolt cutters. An anonymous phone call led authorities to a dumpster outside the wildlife park, where they found the frightened and dehydrated koala in a plastic bin covered with a crate.

According to Banjo’s keeper, Tim Faulkner, “It’s good to have him back. People can’t care for this sort of thing. It’s not a dog.”

Koalas are marsupials native to Australia who feed mainly on eucalyptus leaves. They generally live 10-15 years.

To learn more about Banjo, see:
The Age

To learn more about koalas, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Koala.

Rescued Sandhill Crane and Orphaned Chick Bond at SeaWorld

Sandhill crane rescues at SeaWorld

An injured adult sandhill crane and an orphaned crane chick bond at SeaWorld. Photo provided by SeaWorld.

A few weeks ago, the aviculture team at SeaWorld Orlando took into their care an adult sandhill crane with a rubber gasket stuck around his bill. The gasket not only made it impossible for the crane to eat, it impeded upon the proper development of his bill. The SeaWorld team removed the gasket and provided around-the-clock care to rehabilitate the bird.

While caring for the adult, SeaWorld rescued a newly-hatched, orphaned sandhill crane chick. Although older cranes sometimes do not tolerate unfamiliar chicks, the team decided to see if their rescued adult might act as a surrogate for the chick. And to everyone’s delight, the pair bonded!

By taking the orphan under wing, the adult crane has given the chick the opportunity to mimic and learn behaviors needed to survive in the wild. Eric Reece, SeaWorld’s Supervisor of Aviculture, adds, “The fact that the adult crane took to the chick bodes well for the development of the chick. It is now growing and doing well.”

Once the adult crane has recovered from his injuries and the chick learns to fly, both birds will be released into the wild together.

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Crocodile Expert Brady Barr

Dr. Brady Barr

Dr. Brady Barr speaking at the Garde Arts Center.

The editors of Animal Fact Guide had the pleasure of attending a talk this evening given by Dr. Brady Barr at the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT.  As a herpetologist with the National Geographic Society, Barr has experienced a multitude of close encounters with reptiles in the wild.

In one entertaining story,  Barr recounted an episode where his team was trying to measure the speed of Komodo dragons using a radar gun.  His role was to run around with strings of goat meat tied around his waist to entice the large reptiles to give chase.  And chase they did!  Barr was chased left and right by the dragons, who took turns wearing him out.  Finally, out of breath, Barr took refuge up high in a tree.  Komodo dragons can be extremely dangerous creatures as their mouths are filled with many strains of bacteria, making their bite very hazardous.

Although Barr works with many reptiles, including salamanders, geckos, turtles, and snakes, his main passion is with crocodilian species: crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials.

On many occasions, Barr has gotten up close and personal with crocodiles, often called upon to relocate “nuisance” animals.  Barr and his team have captured many crocodiles known to attack people and have relocated the animals to wildlife preserves and zoos.  By doing so, Barr saves the creatures from being exterminated by the locals.

Throughout his presentation, Barr stressed the importance of conservation, noting that many reptile species are at high risk of extinction.

To learn more about Barr and his adventures, watch Dangerous Encounters on Nat Geo WILD. You can also buy the Best of Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr DVD from Amazon.