Three young manatees now have a new home at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
The manatees are rehabilitated at the zoo and then returned to their home waters in Florida.
With the involvement of these new residents, the zoo has cared for 23 manatees over the past two decades through a partnership with the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP).
Two of the manatees already had names, Alby and Manhattan. MRP gave zoo officials the opportunity to name the third. The Manatee team decided on “SwimShady”, a piece about rapper Eminem’s nickname / alter ego “Slim Shady”. A gar called “Snoop Log” is also located in the zoo’s Manatee Springs.
Alby is an orphan from the Halifax River in Volusia County, Florida. He was rescued in 2019 and weighed 51 pounds. Alby weighed 215 pounds in October.
Manhattan was rescued as an orphan from St. Augustine Beach, St. Johns County, Florida in 2019. He was 62 years old. Pounds on rescue but weighed 227 pounds in October.
SwimShady was rescued as an orphan on the Berkley Canal in Brevard County, Florida in December. At the time of his rescue, he weighed 198 pounds.
“We started renovating our manatee factory after our last two residents, Pippen and Truffleshuffle, returned to Florida in September 2020 and tightened the blueprint so that we could provide a home for these three orphans. We were originally supposed to get two animals. The third animal was added due to the significant influx of rescued manatees at SeaWorld Orlando, ”said Winton Ray, curator of the Cincinnati Zoo, in a press release. “We look forward to helping these youngsters grow and eventually return to their homes.”
Eighteen manatees rehabilitated at the zoo have returned to Florida’s waters. Most recently, Truffleshuffle shuffled near Apollo Beach in Tampa Bay and is now wandering the great blue ocean.
The Cincinnati Zoo is one of two facilities outside of Florida where manatees are treated non-critically.