What is it about?
Admissions into the manatee rehabilitation hospital at a regional critical care facility on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida was reviewed. From 1991 thru October 2017 401 manatees were admitted. Watercraft injuries and natural causes were the leading causes of admission and essentially equal. Orphans calves made up 12% of the admissions. The distribution of males to females were also practically the same. The overall admission rate steadily climbed during this entire period. In addition to reducing mortality, rehabilitation allows opportunities to study naturally occurring health challenges to manatees and explore ways to intervene.
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Why is it important?
In addition to potentially reducing mortality of manatees, this work has provided the opportunity to discover that the underlying cause of cold stress in manatees is a clotting disorder, utilizing atropine in red tide toxicity shortens recovery times, and manatees are susceptible to metabolic syndrome and diabetes once in captivity. Understanding trends of rehabilitation hospital admissions also can help managers allocate resources and improve efficiencies.
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This page is a summary of: Trends of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) rehabilitation admissions 1991-2017, PLoS ONE, July 2020, PLOS,
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