ORLANDO, Fla. A cold-stressed manatee that was rescued Tuesday is now recovering at SeaWorld Orlando.

  • Rescued manatee being treated at SeaWorld Orlando
  • 725-pound manatee found in cold waters near Eustis, Florida
  • Manatee was cold-stressed and dehydrated

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials rescued the 725-pound male manatee in Lake Griffin near Eustis.

The manatee, which was suffering from abcesses and dehydration, was taken to SeaWorld's critical care animal hospital. Veterinarians began treatment by giving the animal antibiotics and fluids.

"Even here in Florida, local water temperatures are starting to drop below 68 degress, which is the threshold for manatees to survive," said Jon Peterson, SeaWorld's manager of rescue operations, in a news release. "Manatees need warm water, and when the temperatures drop they are at a high risk of succumbing to the cold."

The rescued manatee will remain at SeaWorld until the water temperatures warm up, officials said.

SeaWorld Orlando assisted with 72 manatee rescues in 2018. 

Cold stress syndrome in manatees is similar to pneumonia or hypothermia in humans. Prolonged exposure can be lethal.

Manatees can develop white lesions, especially on their tails, flippers, face. They will also seem lethargic. 

If you see a manatee with signs of cold stress, report it to FWC immediately at 1-888-404-3922.

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