A male manatee brought to SeaWorld Orlando on Aug. 31 by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continues to recover and receive care for watercraft injuries. SeaWorld veterinarians performed radiographs to see if there were internal injuries to the spine and chest. The manatee was found in the Tomoka River near Daytona Beach, Fla. Estimated to be approximately 8.75 feet in length and weighing around 680 pounds, the manatee was rescued because he had watercraft injuries and was suffering from a pneumothorax, likely caused by the watercraft injuries. When a manatee has a pneumothorax its body cavity fills with air and it cannot stay submerged.
Yesterday, SeaWorld Orlando animal care experts took radiographs of the manatee’s chest cavity and performed a “chest tap” to relieve the animal of built up pressure and air. He also was given antibiotics. The manatee is in guarded condition and will be monitored closely during the next few days. So far in 2013, SeaWorld has rescued 15 and returned eight manatees back to their natural habitat.