Rescuing & Rehabbing Manatees The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is one of two U.S. Zoos outside of Florida that participate in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP). The goal of the program is to rescue and treat ill, injured and orphaned manatees and then release them back into the wild. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, being struck by watercraft and calf abandonment are the most common reasons a manatee would require rescue and rehabilitation. After rescue some manatees can be immediately released. Manatees that are seriously ill or injured are transferred to SeaWorld Orlando, Miami Seaquarium or Lowry Park Zoo to receive critical care. Manatees that require for long-term rehabilitation are sent to other facilities for care, including the Cincinnati Zoo. Since 1999, the Cincinnati Zoo has rehabilitated 19 manatees, with 17 of those have been released. Young, naïve manatees are fitted with a satellite tracking device, which connects by nylon tether to a belt around the base of their tail. MRP biologists monitor the movements, behavior and health of the manatees until their releases are considered successful. Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.ManateeRescue.org.