The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium was honored to join the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership to assist with the rehabilitation of manatees and to lead out-of-state rescue efforts.
Most recently, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium collaborated with the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership and several other organizations to successfully assist in the rescue and transport of ten manatees from the chilling waters of Charleston, SC. Nine of the manatees were released in Brevard, FL with one remaining at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to undergo rehabilitation.
The manatees were spotted in the upper reaches of the Cooper River, near a warm water outflow area. Historically, manatees move south into warmer waters when the water temperature drops below 68 degrees. Due to rapidly dropping water temperatures in the river, the manatees remained close to the warm water outflow instead of continuing to travel south. In doing so, they were isolated from adequate food sources and naturally warm waters. Following close coordination with some members of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff decided the rescues and relocation of the animals were warranted.
This collaborative effort not only helped to save all ten manatees, but it had a direct impact on the continued protection of this majestic species.