Earlier this year, we introduced you to Justin and Ted, two Pennsylania third-graders who decided to raise money at their school to help manatees. Sanibel Sea School and these enterprising school kids joined forces to raise money for the Save the Manatee Trust Fund. It was a huge success, and their hard work generated more than $1,600!
Last week, a group of people got to see those dollars in action, and some of the Sanibel Sea School staff were there to lend a hand.
In July, a female manatee with a calf was struck by a boat and injured near North Captiva. The mother suffered a punctured lung and a broken rib. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rescued both the mother and her calf and transported them to the Miami Seaquarium where they were successfully rehabilitated.
Last week, after a 4-hour truck ride from Miami, Nori and Cappi (named after where they were rescued) arrived at the South Seas Island Resort, ready to make their way back home. A small crowd of on-lookers and eager helping hands greeted the truck as it pulled into the marina. It took quite a few people to carry the pair to the water, but once there, Nori and Cappi seemed to know just what to do. The crowd cheered as the pair headed out toward Pine Island Sound.
Most of the Save the Manatee Trust Fund money is used to rescue and rehabilitate injured manatees and to investigate the causes of manatee accidents. Last year, 107 manatees were rescued by FWC, half of which have already been released back into the wild.
Thanks to people like Justin and Ted and the many contributors they rallied, the Save the Manatee Trust Fund is able to support the FWC and their collaborators as they continue to lend a hand to Florida’s manatee population!
Check out the local news coverage of the release.