SeaWorld offers pass members chance to see expanded manatee care space

Critical care space doubled due to rise in manatee mortality rate

ORLANDO, Fla. – Just months ago, SeaWorld Orlando announced it was doubling its critical care space at its rescue facility in response to the ongoing unusual mortality event impacting manatees.

Over 1,100 manatees died last year in Florida, setting a record for deaths in the state. Researchers said most of the deaths are happening in Central Florida. Most of the deaths were found in the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County. Biologists estimate 90% of the seagrass manatees that eat in the lagoon had been killed off by pollutants like fertilizer.

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SeaWorld Orlando added four new pools, which hold over 200,000 gallons of water, to increase the number of manatees rescue teams can care for.

Now through June 29, SeaWorld pass members can get a free behind-the-scenes look at the new space.

The tours are limited in capacity and are only being offered on Wednesdays at 12 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To sign up for the exclusive tour, pass members can visit the Tours Welcome Center at the base of Sky Tower attraction. SeaWorld said each tour is 30 minutes in length and are subject to change or be canceled without notice.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.