TAMPA, Fla. - Would you know what to do if you found an orphaned animal in the wild? What if that orphan weighed 60 pounds and swam in the water? ZooTampa's newest manatee is just that, a newborn orphaned calf.
"She was rescued in Port Charlotte," said Molly Lippincott, animal care manager at ZooTampa. "She was found near some docks, and luckily some good Samaritans found her and called her in."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a toll free number for distressed manatees. The FWC responded and found the calf, but no mother could be located anywhere near the area.
They brought the manatee calf to the Manatee Critical Care Center at ZooTampa.
"Her demeanor is good," shared Lippincott. "She actually is nursing from us."
That is important because, without a mother, this orphan girl is going to have to put on weight that would be easier to gain in the wild.
"We are monitoring her weight," said Lippincott. "She should gain about a pound a day."
Their goal is 600 pounds or 541 more than her current weight of 59 pounds.
ZooTampa takes this care and upbringing personally providing round the clock care for this orphan.
"Her name is Harlow," stated Lippincott and of the folks who found her. "That's really what we need is people looking out for manatees."
Click here to learn more about the Manatee Critical Care Center at ZooTampa
The FWC Wildlife Alert Toll-Free number is 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).