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Manatee Critical Care Center is back open at Zoo Tampa after big renovations

Posted at 1:46 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 18:48:14-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The manatees are back at Zoo Tampa after extensive renovations and upgrades to the Manatee Critical Care Center. This makes Zoo Tampa the number one hospital for manatees on Florida's west coast.

Four manatees rescued from Florida’s west coast after being involved in boat strikes have moved from SeaWorld to the Zoo for continued care. These manatees are the first to receive care in the center’s newly renovated facility.

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“What’s new is an investment of $3 million thanks to the Florida Legislature to upgrade our life support system. It’s been going on for the past 13 months and now we’re up and running,” said Dr. Larry Killmar, chief zoological officer.

The David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center is the first non-profit acute care facility for injured, sick and orphaned wild manatees. The Zoo has recently replaced the center’s vital but aging filtration system with a more energy efficient one to provide advanced, specialized care for even more severely injured and sickened manatees.

“For the next 25-30 years, we’ll be able to maintain high water quality standards and be a major player of the rehabilitation of manatees in the state of Florida.” said Killmar.