SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) returned Trooper, a male manatee, to the Tomoka River waters in Ormond Beach, Fla.,this week after receiving care and rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando for the past nine months.
Trooper was rescued by FWC from the Tomoka River on Aug. 31, 2013, due to a watercraft injury. At the time of rescue, he had several broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Following his rescue, FWC transported him to SeaWorld Orlando, where he received medical treatment and rehabilitation, including antibiotics, tube feeding and other supportive care. Trooper was also placed in a wetsuit to help him with his buoyancy issue.
Trooper received his name because of the obstacles he overcame from his severe injuries. He had multiple surgeries and continued to pull through them all. After being medically cleared for yesterday’s return, Trooper was transported by SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team to Ormond Beach, where he was originally found. Trooper measured 8.5 feet long and weighed 785 pounds.
Later this week, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team will be returning another manatee home to the Florida waters. So far in 2014, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued five and returned six manatees back to their natural environment.