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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about manatee rescue, rehabilitation, release, and post-release monitoring, as well as the work of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership.

About the MRP

How do the different partners work together?

What does each facility do?

How do you move manatees between different facilities?

How long can manatees stay out of the water?



Who should I contact if I see a sick, injured, orphaned, or dead manatee?
Call FWC's Wildlife Alert Toll-Free Number: 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922), press "7" to speak with an operator. Cellular phone customers: *FWC or #FWC

Why would a manatee be rescued?

Manatees are rescued for a variety of reasons. Boat strikes, entanglements, red tide, cold stress, and orphan calves are the main reasons they need to be rescued.

Where are you taking a manatee after a rescue?

How can I follow up on a rescued manatee?

How can I follow up on a manatee's cause of death?


How many pounds of lettuce does a manatee eat in rehab? In the wild?

How do you prepare a manatee for release? What are the requirements a manatee must meet in order to be released?

How long do manatees stay in rehab?

The average stay for manatees at the zoo is 6 months, however, it does depend on the case. Some manatees will stay for a few weeks and others will stay for a few years.



How do you choose where to release each manatee?

We try to release manatees close to where they are rescued, as long as it’s safe. Manatees are migratory animals, so they become familiar with certain water ways. We want to release them where they will have the most success.

Post-Release Monitoring

How does manatee tracking work?


How can the public help manatees in the wild and in rehab?

What are ways boaters can help?

If you live along the coast, how can you help?

What are ways that businesses can help?

Why are seagrasses so important to manatees?

If you don’t live along the coast, how can you help manatees?

Should I feed or water manatees in the wild?

What time of year do manatees mate?

Why should you keep your distance from manatee mating herds?

What should you do if you encounter a manatee mating herd?

How can I make a donation?

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