Orphaned manatees from SeaWorld Orlando have been sent to two Ohio Zoos to receive care before they’re eventually released into the wild.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden received three manatees this week and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium received one. Both zoos are part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership.
Two Cincinnati manatees, meanwhile, have been flown back to Florida. BamBam will receive care at SeaWorld before his release next year. Betsy, in Cincinnati since 2010, isn’t a candidate for release and now lives at her new permanent home in a Florida state park.
Pippen, Miles and Mathew in Cincinnati and Goober in Columbus will be part of manatee exhibits while they gain weight in preparation for their return to the wild.