ORLANDO, Fla. – After getting some help from SeaWorld’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation facility, a manatee and her calf are back swimming in Central Florida’s waters.
Mandy and her calf Manilow were released Wednesday morning near Blue Spring.
Mandy was rescued from Blue Spring State Park in March after researchers noticed she seemed weak, according to a release. Researchers said she was underweight, but it was not related to the starvation that was seen in the winter in the Indian River Lagoon.
Partners with SeaWorld Orlando’s manatee rehabilitation unit rescued Mandy and her nursing calf who was healthy, according to the group. The staff at SeaWorld worked to help get Mandy to a healthy weight and named her calf Manilow after the Barry Manilow song Mandy.
After releasing the two back into their natural environment, the Save the Manatee Club is now working to raise money to help rebuild Blue Spring State Park’s rescue and release area.
The groups say with it becoming increasingly unsafe to use it’s difficult to get manatees back in the water. Friends of Blue Spring State Park are currently raising funds to rebuild the area to include a new ramp, a staging area for releases and interpretive panels to educate park visitors. Those interested in assisting can donate here.