VIDEO: Manatee Rescued From Vilano Beach Recovering At Jacksonville Zoo

Mar 23, 2018

A manatee found stranded on Vilano Beach last Sunday is being treated at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens' Manatee Critical Care Center.  


The male manatee was brought in suffering from severe cold stress.

“He also had some signs of pneumonia because he was listing to one side,” said zoo veterinarian Yousuf Jafarey.

The manatee is being given fluids, pain medications and antibiotics. He’ll be released as soon as he’s healthy.

The Jacksonville Zoo is one of only four facilities in the United States that treat critically-ill manatees.

“When animals need round the clock care, where they need blood glucose checks every few hours, or if they need treatment every few hours, we are equipped to be able to do that here,” Jafarey said.

A team assesses a manatee rescued from Vilano Beach.
Credit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Two young females are also being treated at the zoo’s manatee center.

Percy was rescued in Jacksonville in December and M.J. was transferred there from SeaWorld in Orlando earlier this month. Both are expected to remain at the Jacksonville Zoo for another year so they can grow.

Manatee Facts:

  • Their brains are the size of a grapefruit, a smooth grapefruit.
  • They can grow to be 13 feet long and weigh 3,000 pounds.
  • Their closest relative is the elephant.
  • They typically surface once every five minutes to breathe but they have been known to go as long as 20 minutes between breaths.

The rescued male manatee will be released as soon as is healthy.
Credit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.