Sea World Orlando’s Orphaned Manatee Calf Starts Her New Life in the Wild

Orphaned Manatee Calf Starts Her New Life in the Wild

SeaWorld’s Rescue, Rehabilitation and Return Program Comes Full Circle for Blanche the Manatee

 

Almost three years after she was rescued, a female manatee has returned to the Florida’s natural waters. Amidst cheers and bittersweet tears, SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team returned Blanche to Port St. John, Florida and watched her swim away, ready to begin her life in the wild.  

 

On July 21, 2014, Blanche was an orphan calf, estimated to be only two weeks old, when she was found swimming alone in the Indian River. She was rescued by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and brought to SeaWorld Orlando. Weighing in at only 48 pounds and measuring 48 inches in length, Blanche required around-the-clock care, including regular bottle feedings. She responded well to the immediate care she received and continued to thrive at SeaWorld’s Manatee Rehabilitation Center. Each day marked another day closer to the ultimate goal of being returned to her natural environment.

 

One of the most critical components to manatee rehabilitation is weight gain. Rescued orphaned manatees must weigh at least 600 pounds before they can be considered strong candidates for return by the Florida Fish and Wildlife. Today, Blanche weighs an amazing and healthy 775 pounds.

              

SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team and FWC recorded Blanche’s final measurements moments before release and fitted her with a belt that will allow the Sea to Shore Alliance to monitor her success and track her path in the wild. Blanche is the sixth rehabilitated manatee SeaWorld has released to the natural environment this year.

 

In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the ocean. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 29,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than 50 years. 

 

Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership

As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), SeaWorld Orlando is an acute care rehabilitation facility that provides life-saving medical care to rescued manatees.

 

The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees.  Information about manatees currently being tracked is available atwww.wildtracks.org. The Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and mortality. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are all natural problems that can affect manatees. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.

 

All manatee rescue footage is produced by SeaWorld under the FWS Permit Number MA7701911.

 

Marijean

My name is Marijean, I live in Sunny FL with my wonderful husband and 2 children. I love Disney, Coffee and Blogging 🙂

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Celebrate Mardi Gras on February 28th!

Laissez les bon temps rouler…let the good times roll!  Mardi Gras is just around the corner, so it’s time to get your king cake, gumbo, a fancy mask, and some beads and hit the parade route! 

 

Beads ready to be thrown…

So much fun!

For nearly 10 years, my husband and I lived just outside of New Orleans. Celebrating Mardi Gras became a Louisiana tradition for our family. While the city and the French Quarter has a reputation for partying and debauchery, Mardi Gras is actually a fun, family event that includes weeks of parades, balls, and celebrations. Krewes, or social clubs, host parades with elaborate floats, marching bands, performers, and of course, beads! If you’re lucky, you might also be able to snag a coveted doubloon, Moonpie, a stuffed animal, or a cup. People line up hours in advance of the parade to make sure they get the perfect spot to score the best throws. Custom built ladder seats give kids a great view of the fantastic themed floats. Each year, parades take place all along the Gulf Coast including not only New Orleans, but Mobile and in some Mississippi cities as well. 

One of the amazing parade floats

A young parade-goer perched on her ladder seat ready to catch some throws.

Although it changes from year to year, Mardi Gras Day, or Fat Tuesday, is on February 28 this year. Unfortunately here in Florida, celebrating Mardi Gras isn’t too common, but if you ever have an opportunity to take in a parade, I’d highly recommend it! They really are fun, unique events like no other. 

On a side note, Universal Orlando does hold a Mardi Gras celebration each year complete with floats, street performers, and beads. So while it might not be the “real deal”, if you’re at Universal, it’s definitely worth checking out. 

Mardi Gras FAQ:

http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/faq.html

Universal Orlando Mardi Gras: 

https://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Overview.aspx

Heather Little

My name is Heather Little and my husband and I have two sweet girls and one crazy dog. We moved to Florida 6 years ago and have loved every minute of it! I enjoy crafting, good food, shopping, and of course travel!

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Cocoa Beach

We went to Cocoa Beach last weekend. My brother lives there now and we wanted to go visit for a bit. There was a launch this past weekend as well. That was cool to see and hear!

The beaches are beautiful and the sand is super soft.

 

The view from dinner at our hotel.

 

The tiki guys were colorful and fun!

We went into Cocoa Village and my brother pretended to fall asleep. It was a nice day to fall asleep!

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Planning Your Trip To an American National Park

If you have a thirst for adventure and a passion to see truly beautiful parts of the world, then exploring America’s National Parks should be at the top of your travel bucket list. Since they’re dotted all over the country, each park is very different, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re the perfect places to get back to nature. You can see spectacular scenery, view the native wildlife and do plenty of outdoorsy activities. Planning your trip beforehand will allow you to get the most out of your visit.

Which National Park

Each American National Park is truly a geological marvel. From mountains to rivers to lakes; there are ice fields, deserts and waterfalls amongst the different parks. Decide what you would most like to see, and make your choice based on that. You get a different experience at every destination.

 

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Source: Good Free Photos

What Will The Weather Be Like

The weather is America is of course massively diverse- from the scorching sun of Arizona to the snow of the Colorado Rockies. Do your research about the climate of different states so you’ll know what to expect. Be sure to pack accordingly, in some parks you will need to stay cool while still being protected from the sun (especially if you plan on being out in it for most of the day). Large sunglasses, wide brimmed sun hats and light yet long sleeve clothing items will prevent you from becoming burned. In others, you will need thermal clothing and a snow shovel!

Things To Do

Many of the National Parks will offer the same kinds of outdoors activities- hiking, bird watching, vehicle tours. However there will also be specific activities based on the climate and type of surroundings. For example, Big Bend in Texas is home to various important fossils including dinosaur bones. Wondering what to do in Big Bend National Park? Visit the fascinating fossil beds of course! In Virgin Islands National Park you can go scuba diving, something that won’t be possible in the colder or inland parks! Some are more untouched wilderness, whereas others offer more touristy things such as shops, spas and retreats. So make sure you look into exactly what’s available when you’re planning your trip.

Camping

During the peak season (around May to October) the National Parks get incredibly busy. Therefore to guarantee camping, it’s essential that you book ahead. During the off season reservations aren’t taken in some parks as the sites don’t generally fill up, so if you’re visiting between November and mid April you’re probably ok for a last minute visit. Campsites can vary, some will offer lodges for a more glamping experience. Others will offer RV hookups whereas in some you are only able to pitch a tent. Of course this makes a huge difference and depending on what you’re after can help you decide which park to pick.

Have you ever visited any of America’s spectacular National Parks? Will you be paying any of them a visit in 2017?

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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The Lone Star State: Kid-Friendly Vacations To Texas

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If you’re looking for a diverse and varied vacation spot, you won’t go wrong with Texas. It has everything your family could wish for, from big cities to small towns, and sandy beaches to hiking trails. It’s big, beautiful and you’ll be sure of a warm welcome.

The state of Texas covers over 261,000 square miles. To put this into perspective, it is larger than several small countries combined. So you won’t be covering the whole state on a short vacation. Here are a few highlights so you can plan your holiday accordingly.

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Dallas

Situated in North Texas, Dallas is a thriving, modern city. If you’re looking for some culture, then check out the museums. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the USA, and the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest collections of contemporary sculptures in the world.

After all that culture, stop by Adventure Landing where the whole family can enjoy fairground attractions, miniature golf, and other fun activities.

A note for shopaholics; there are more malls here than anywhere else in the USA so you can shop to your heart’s content.

 

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Galveston

If it’s a beach holiday you’re seeking, Galveston is your destination. This historic coastal town boasts several beaches, including East Beach, Stewart Beach, Pirate’s Beach and Porretto Beach. Each has their own unique charm and you can either while away the hours sitting in the sun, or take part in one of the many activities.

In addition to the beaches, enjoy spending time at the world-renowned Moody Gardens. Or take part in Mardis Gras or the popular Dickens On The Strand festival.

You’ll find plenty hotels, apartments and a great RV resort in Galveston. Accommodation is plentiful and varied and suits all budgets.

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Houston

About 45 minutes north of East Beach in Galveston, you’ll find the US’s fourth largest city. You can’t visit Houston without stopping at Space Center Houston. Here you’ll learn all about the space programs and experience some of the exciting attractions.

Other family-friendly delights include Houston Zoo, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Children’s Museum of Houston, Hermann Park and the Downtown Aquarium.

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Austin

Austin is the state capital of Texas and home to the University of Texas. It is known for its thriving music scene which includes everything from big name bands to country singers, jazz and up and coming artists.

Did you know that Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America? During the summer months, hundreds of visitors gather at Congress Avenue Bridge, to watch as the bats emerge for their nightly feed.

Check out some of the city’s street art and murals. You’ll find a mixture of commissioned and non-commissioned work. Some of the murals are known throughout the world.

Whether you’re looking for a multi-site vacation or looking to settle for a week or two, Texas has everything from thriving cities to sandy beaches. When you’re planning your next family vacation, consider the Lone Star State.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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