Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is well-known for its ongoing work rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing sick or injured West Indian Manatees found in Florida waters.
Their most recent addition is an orphaned Manatee named Jobin. He was just a few days old and weighed just 55 pounds when he arrived at the zoo’s Manatee Hospital. Now six weeks old, Jobin has gained almost 20 pounds!
West Indian Manatees, also known as sea-cows, weigh up to 1,300 pounds as adults. Manatees are mammals – hence, they nurse their young and give birth to live babies. They feed on underwater vegetation and inhabit coastal waters, estuaries, and freshwater springs. Manatees prefer warm shallow waters and often gather in large groups.
Manatees are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They face threats from propeller strikes and toxic algae blooms.
The Lowry Park Zoo works in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Marine Research Institute, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured or sick Manatees. The zoo’s Manatee Hospital is one of three critical care facilities in Florida to care for West Indian Manatees and the only non-profit facility.