Manatees Are Cool

Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus) are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. They measure up to 13 ft long, weigh as much as 1,300 lbs, and have paddle-like flippers. Manatees are occasionally called sea cows, as they are slow plant-eaters, peaceful and similar to cows on land. They often graze on water plants in tropical seas.

Manatees In Captivity

manatee

This is Lil' Joe the manatee. He was orphened and was taken into captivity. He lives with another manatee named Lou. There are a number of manatee rehabilitation centers in the United States. These include three government-run critical care facilities in Florida at Lowry Park Zoo, Miami Seaquarium, and SeaWorld Orlando. After initial treatment at these facilities, the manatees are transferred to rehabilitation facilities before release. These include the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Epcot's The Seas, South Florida Museum, and Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The manatee has been linked to folklore on mermaids. Native Americans ground the bones to treat asthma and earache. In West African folklore, they were considered sacred and thought to have been once human. Killing one was taboo and required penance.

Here are some links to manatee rehabilitation centers: