By Betsy Thorpe


Rescued manatee, Bockis fitted with a satellite tracking belt, by Disney Animal Programs team members, before his release into Florida’s St John River
Photo Courtesy Walt Disney World

As part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership, Disney’s Animal Programs team released a rescued manatee back into his natural habitat at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City, Florida. The manatee, named Bock, was released on February 24, into the warm waters of the St. John’s River.

The 500 pound orphaned manatee was rescued near Jacksonville in 2001. First reared at Sea World in Orlando, he was later transferred to The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Disney World’s Epcot Center. Soon after being weaned from a bottle by Epcot’s marine mammal experts, he started a diet of romaine lettuce, fruits and other vegetables. Bock now weighs more than 1,000 pounds and is approximately eight years old. Prior to his release, he was fitted with a satellite tracking belt to follow his movements and allow for behavioral observation. His progress will be monitored by the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership.

A partnership between the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership and Disney’s Animal Programs was established in 2001. The Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership is a cooperative group of nonprofit, private, state and federal entities that monitors the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s