TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two manatees at ZooTampa have been moved to an Ohio zoo for continued rehabilitation.
According to ZooTampa, Einstein and Acorn were successfully transferred Saturday evening from ZooTampa to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
The calves were rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last fall. Einstein was orphaned after his mom didn’t survive injuries caused by a boat strike in Steinhatchee River and arrived at ZooTampa in August. Acorn arrived at ZooTampa in November from Crystal River where he was found floating off a dock and was emaciated.
“This iconic Florida species has been at the heart of our commitment to conservation for more than 30 years. Both manatees are doing extremely well in their rehabilitation and we are confident that with continued care at the Columbus Zoo, Einstein and Acorn will be fully rehabilitated by winter and will be able to return to Florida waters,” stated Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, the senior vice president of animal health, education and conservation at ZooTampa.
The transfer helps alleviate recent capacity concerns at ZooTampa, which operates one of only four critical care centers for manatees in Florida.
According to ZooTampa, “manatees continue to face an unprecedented year marked by an unusual mortality event, record watercraft injuries, severe weather and red tide.”
Columbus Zoo will help rehabilitate both calves, making sure they are healthy and have gained enough weight to be re-released into the Florida waters.