Manatee on the mend at Jacksonville Zoo

Marine mammal recovers at zoo after being struck by boat

An injured manatee is being cared for in Jacksonville Zoo, after it was hit by a boat in Daytona Beach. Meteorologist Danielle Uliano spoke with a veterinarian about the recovery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A female manatee was rescued Aug. 22 in Daytona Beach after an apparent boat strike. The marine mammal was brought to the Manatee Critical Care Center at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to recover from her injuries.

“She has a little wound on her back. She also has a couple of fractures of her ribs, and the reason that they picked her up is because she has some air in her thorax that made her buoyant on one side,” said Allison Peterson, a veterinarian at the Jacksonville Zoo.

The air in her chest causes her to float, not allowing her to fully submerge herself in the water.

The zoo staff is cautiously optimistic that she will recover within a few weeks and they’re continuing a daily treatment plan to help her heal.

“Our treatment plan includes some pain medication. She’s gotten some antibiotics and then she’s gotten some anti-parasitic medication, as well, because she came in with a parasite burden,” Peterson said.

The recovery process takes time. Before she can be released, her ribs need to heal and she needs to be able to submerge herself in the water.

It’s also important to remember that come fall, it’s likely that you’ll see a manatee in the water since they’ll be on the move for warmer waters.