Jacksonville zoo veterinarian, care team examines rescued manatees

Two manatees recovering at zoo's critical care center

By Jonathan Stacey - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The road to recovery is coming an end for a rescued manatee found on Vilano Beach earlier this spring, but while one sea cow's journey comes to end, another battered manatee still has a ways to go in his recovery at Jacksonville Zoo and Garden's Manatee Critical Care Center.

News4Jax checked in on manatee's Vilanzo and Miller during their medical exam Thursday.

For Miller and Vilanzo, the past few weeks have been difficult after they were both found separately at the end of March. Miller was found stuck in the mud near Miller's Creek and Vilanzo was found beached on the Atlantic shore's of St. Johns County.

"He's [Vilanzo] really spunky and spry, and definitely responds any sort of treatment," said zoo veterinarian Yousuf Jafarey​.

Jafarey is responsible for leading this team of volunteers today at the Manatee Critical Care Center.

"He [Vilanzo] has a good body condition, he also seems to have good respiration," said Jafarey.

These positives outcomes are the results of weeks of checking vitals and monitoring blood levels.

"Vilanzo is doing great and increasing in weight like we expect. Miller is losing a little bit of wait which concerning," said Jafarey.

Miller's considerably slower movement isn't a good sign. An ultrasound reveals he maybe battling pneumonia. 
"Miller unfortunately has nasal discharge and he just seems to be having a little bit more trouble with movement and deification," said Miller.

Veterinarians say Miller will spend a few more months on a treatment plan inside of these pools for he's released.

As for Vilanzo, he'll likely be returned in the wild within the next couple of weeks.​

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