SeaWorld and DHL Express team up to move rehabilitated manatee from Texas to Florida for return

Steve Aibel, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld San Antonio, said they are always ready to help manatees in need if needed. As manatees continue to face threats amid an unusual mortality event, it’s important that animal care experts across the country step in to help ensure the preservation of the precious species.

Earlier this year, the manatee was found suffering from cold stress, fin damage, severe weight loss and other ailments in Texas waters. While manatees are generally known to reside in Florida, seasonal migration to other southern states has increased in recent years. This is only the third manatee that SeaWorld San Antonio has rehabilitated due to the uncommon presence of manatees in Texas.

Keeping animals safe during transport

Due to the size and delicate nature of manatee airlifts, it can be difficult to find adequate transportation. Turtles Fly Too, an organization that coordinates air transportation for animals in need, worked around the clock to try to secure a plane and pilot to fly this manatee to Florida. In the end, SeaWorld turned to long-time partner DHL Express to help transport the manatees.

To make this move possible, DHL Express transported the manatee in a state-of-the-art custom container, specially designed to contain manatees and in accordance with the requirements of the International Animal Transport Association (IATA) – the regulatory group who oversees all animal transport. on land, air or sea. In collaboration with IATA, SeaWorld helped establish the first transport unit standards for the safe transport of cetaceans and manatees, which includes the use of open-top units designed to allow pets to move and adjust in comfort as needed while remaining safe in their environment. container.

The container housing the manatee is designed with high-density, lightweight, insulated foam and secured to a floor-mounted pallet for added stability. The manatee lay on an 8″ bed of open cell foam under a layer of 2″ closed cell foam which offsets the animal’s weight and provides maximum comfort. The manatee was then covered in wool and space blankets to maintain a healthy body temperature and was constantly monitored during the flight by SeaWorld animal care specialists using laser thermometers. To keep the body moist, the manatee was sprayed with water under its blankets throughout the flight.

“This is our fifth manatee successfully transferred through our global hub to Cincinnati this year, and DHL is delighted to continue supporting efforts to conserve and protect the manatee population, said Cain Moodie, SVP of Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express Americas. “Removing manatees is a complex process, so the speed and reliability of our air network, combined with extensive logistical planning with SeaWorld and their partners, helps ensure these wonderful creatures return safely to their natural habitat. .”

Rescued and returned to Florida’s natural springs

After a successful transport from Texas to Florida, the manatee arrived at SeaWorld Orlando for a 48-hour observation period to ensure its health had not been affected by the trip. Once the manatee was cleared by SeaWorld veterinarians, the manatee was transported to Kings Bay in crystal river where he was returned to the warm waters. The manatee was tagged for a Dauphin Island Sea Lab project investigating the use and distribution of manatee habitat in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Since 1976, SeaWorld has helped sick, orphaned and injured manatees, rescuing and rehabilitating 1,300 manatees to date. Although this is only the third manatee SeaWorld San Antonio has ever rehabilitated, SeaWorld Orlando has a long history of helping manatees in need. SeaWorld Orlando’s five-acre rescue center has the capacity to care for up to 40 manatees at a time – the largest space available in United States – and its facilities have a wide range of critical care facilities, including elevating floors, high-end therapeutic and diagnostic equipment and expert veterinary staff.

“As manatees continue to suffer from an unusual and dangerous mortality event, it is more important than ever to devote our time, energy and resources to ensuring their continued survival,” said Jon Peterson, vice president of zoological operations at SeaWorld Orlando and leader of SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue team. “We are grateful for the continued partnership and dedication of organizations such as DHL and others who help make rescues, rehabilitations and returns not only possible, but also safe and successful.”

SeaWorld is also recognized for its life-saving innovations in animal care and treatment for manatees, including the development of a special baby manatee formula adaptable to meet the needs of each nursing calf and the creation of a hand-feeding bottle. which mimics a manatee mother. SeaWorld pioneered manatee treatment techniques including ultrasound, anesthesia, x-rays, surgery and thermography. SeaWorld vets were also the first to put a cast on an injured manatee.

About SeaWorld Entertainment
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company that delivers experiences that matter and inspires guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s leading zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, breeding and veterinary care. The society collectively cares for what it considers to be one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped advance animal care. The Society also rescues and rehabilitates sick, injured, orphaned or abandoned marine and land animals, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The marine world® The rescue team has helped over 40,000 animals in need over the company’s history. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands, including SeaWorld®Busch Gardens®Aquatic®Place Sesame® and rescue at sea®. Over its more than 60-year history, the company has built a diverse portfolio of 12 regional destinations and theme parks that are clustered in key markets across United States, many of which feature his one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company’s theme parks offer a diverse range of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal that provide memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics sector. Our DHL divisions offer an unparalleled portfolio of logistics services ranging from domestic and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and sea transport to supply chain management. industrial supply. With approximately 380,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories around the world, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling sustainable global trade flows. With specialist solutions for growing markets and industries including technology, life sciences and healthcare, engineering, manufacturing and energy, automotive and retail, DHL is positioning itself to decisively as “the logistics company for the world”.

DHL is part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group achieved a turnover of more than 81 billion euros in 2021. With sustainable business practices and a commitment to society and the environment, the Group makes a positive contribution to the world. Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero-emission logistics by 2050.

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SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Recreation