Two endangered manatees received a second chance at life in the wild on Thursday after critical care at the Manatee Hospital at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo.
The manatee mother and her dependent calf -- nicknamed “Shamrock” and “Emerald” -- were rescued March 15 in waters near Tarpon Springs after the mother suffered a boat strike injury, according to Lowry Park Zoo.
Shamrock, a 810-pound female, suffered a pneumothorax injury (collapsed lung) which resolved after three months of care. Her dependent calf, Emerald, is a healthy 335-pound female.
The release was located on the boat ramp at Craig Park on Library Court in Tarpon Springs. The Park is located on Spring Bayou which is a winter home to numerous manatees.
To date, the Zoo has taken in 405 manatees for critical care for a variety of severe illnesses and catastrophic injuries including boat strikes, cold stress, orphans, entanglement and red tide exposure. Of those, 232 have survived and been returned to Florida waters.