'Emoji' the manatee calf dies at Lowry Park Zoo, staff reminds public of dangers of pollution

"Emoji" arrived at the Zoo in late October 2016
Posted at 6:14 AM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 06:42:38-05

Veterinarians at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo are reminding the public about the dangers of pollution to our dear Tampa Bay manatees after "Emoji" the orphaned manatee calf unfortunately passed away on Monday.

Vets will perform a full necropsy, which will provide details into how the manatee calf died.  

Three months ago, the zoo's staff received him and found plastic bags in his stomach. 

"Emoji" also suffered from a condition that causes manatees to clot and bleed at the same time. 

Vets say what they learned from caring for "Emoji" will benefit future manatee rehabilitation. 

“Emoji" is a tragic illustration of the consequences that simple human actions have on the world around us,” said Dr. Ray Ball, senior veterinarian for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “Now more than ever, we must hold ourselves accountable, whether that’s keeping trash and plastics out of our waterways or being more mindful of potential consequences of propeller strikes on wildlife while boating.”

The Zoo says they remain steadfast in their commitment to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of manatees. 

This sad news comes around the same time a manatee was found dead after Gasparilla. Not only are officials warning about pollution, but they're warning boaters to watch out for manatees in the Tampa Bay area. 

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