See Manatees at the Miami Seaquarium

One of the nation's oldest manatee rescue facilities.

 

 

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Manatees at the Miami Seaquarium


See as many as a half-dozen manatees featured in the park's 90,000 gallon Celebrity Pool, which has both above and underwater viewing. Manatee education programs are presented at the pool several times daily.

Since the early 1970s, the Miami Seaquarium has participated in the recovery and rehabilitation of more than 65 manatees. It also houses the most prolific manatee breeding colony in the U.S.

One of the Seaquarium's most famous residents was "Sewer Sam," a manatee that managed to wedge itself in a storm drain for several days before rescue. Sewer Sam’s recovery, which included a diet of 100 pounds of iceberg lettuce daily, lasted almost two years.

Stories about Sam appeared all over the world. He became famous when his release was filmed by underwater pioneer Jacques Cousteau.

Before being freed, Sam was taken to Crystal River and allowed to readjust to the wild. Once set free, Sam at first was reluctant to leave.

When Sam did depart after a few days, he was never seen again. Cousteau's "Undersea World" program on manatees was one of the first to focus on the manatees' plight.

Miami Seaquarium has demonstrated just how long manatees can live in captivity. Its oldest resident was Juliet, a resident since the 1950s. Juliet remained sexually active in her advancing years, including a healthy calf in March, 1993.

A few months after giving birth, Juliet helped nurse another baby manatee, this one at La Parguera, Puerto Rico.

A half-cup of Juliet's milk was airlifted from Miami to Puerto Rico to help an orphaned calf fight off a severe infection.

The milk, with its normal antibodies for fighting off infection, was intended to be mixed with antibiotics in a special formula and fed to the sick calf seven times daily.

Over the years, Seaquarium researchers have found that the manatee's immune system is more developed than that of most animals.

"It is for this reason that manatees are able to survive swimming in bodies of water like the Miami River," explained a marine park veterinarian.

Manatees at the Miami Seaquarium can be seen up close through one of several animal encounter experiences. Contact info: Miami Seaquarium is located at 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia website

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