Orphaned Manatee Rescued in Florida Keys | The Institute for Creation Research
Orphaned Manatee Rescued in Florida Keys
Necessities can be keys to forming new friendships, an orphaned baby manatee learned earlier this month.1 Maybe there is also a lesson for us humans.

“Keys” refers to the Florida Keys, the string-like archipelago of islands that trail southwardly below the south peninsula of Florida’s mainland. The Florida Keys have been physically connected since 1912—first by railway bridges, then in 1928 for automobile traffic.2

Being islanders, residents of the Keys often visit their docks. And it’s not unusual for sea creatures to visit shorelines near docks. Likewise, it’s not a big surprise for a manatee to be spotted under a boat dock. But this one needed help.

An orphaned infant manatee was rescued Saturday [May 2, 2020] after being spotted by homeowners that there was something beneath underwater rocks along their dock. The Dolphin Research Center’s (DRC) Manatee Rescue Team and volunteers with Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder unit assisted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee to corral the calf with netting. They then successfully scooped the manatee from the water using a large hoop net.1

Manatees are sirenians (like dugongs), marine mammals that are torpedo-shaped and massive. They are somewhat like cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and pinnipeds (seals and walruses). These are all accustomed to eating aquatic vegetation in tidal coastwaters.3

Manatees are vegetarian, eating sea plants such as water hyacinth and hydrilla, two prolific “pest plants” that clog and choke waterways. Manatees can swim quickly over short distances, propelling themselves with undulations (like a caterpillar), using flippers and tail to steer and stabilize. They are primarily nocturnal creatures.3

This baby manatee was rescued at the Key Islamorada, which is about an hour south of Miami.1,2 What happened to the baby manatee after she was rescued?

According to the DRC, the manatee may have been without its mother for several days, saying that was an unusual amount of time for the pair to be separated. They did not know why the calf separated from her mom. [The calf] was taken to Miami Seaquarium for treatment and rehabilitation.1

Stresses of all sorts are unavoidable in this mortal life, but at least in the case of the orphaned manatee infant at Islamorada, there is a fairly happy ending to the story: a successful rescue followed by an adoption-like new beginning.1

DRC described the female as less than four feet long, considered underweight at 65.5 pounds. She was diagnosed with a bacterial infection. On Sunday [May 3] afternoon, a Seaquarium veterinarian said the manatee was in “guarded condition.” After evaluation and treatment, she was placed in a pool with an older orphaned female manatee. Those caring for the small calf said she is sticking close to the older orphan’s side.1

Meanwhile, we are directed to pray for our Heavenly Father’s kingdom to come, and His will to be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. And the time will eventually come when Christ reigns upon our planet, as time of heaven-on-earth, full of blessings for both man and beast, including no-longer-orphaned manatees.4

References
1. Staff writer. Orphaned Baby Manatee Rescued in the Keys: Calf Discovered Under Dock Now Safe with Older Orphan. Posted on Local10.com May 3, 2020, accessed May 8, 2020.
2. Staff writer. Islamorada, Village of Islands. Posted on Islamorada.fl.us, accessed May 8, 2020.
3. Whitaker Jr., J. O. 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals, revised edition. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 805-808, Plates # 366 and 367.
4. Matthew 6:9-10; Luke 11:2; Isaiah 11:1-10.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
The Latest
NEWS
RNA Ties and Unties Itself
There are two types of nucleic acids (genetic molecules): DNA and RNA. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a large linear molecule designed to store genetic...

NEWS
Does Oddball Platypus Genome Reveal Its Origins?
How in the world did a creature as odd as the duck-billed platypus originate? This creature lays eggs like a reptile, has venom like a reptile, spurs like...

NEWS
Is Evolution ‘Fake Science’?
The organization BioLogos, which advocates that Christians accept secular evolutionary claims, recently published an online essay entitled “How to...

NEWS
Cambrian Explosion Alive and Well
A new editorial in GSA Today is claiming that secular scientists should cease using the term “Cambrian Explosion.”1 It’s not...

NEWS
Abraham Ate Bananas?
Since the word banana does not occur in Scripture, any evidence of bananas in ancient Middle Eastern diets would have to come from the ground. New research...

NEWS
3-D Human Genome Radically Different from Chimp
All plant and animal genomes studied so far exhibit complex and distinct three-dimensional (3-D) structures in their chromosome configurations depending...

NEWS
Amazonian Artwork and the Post-Flood Ice Age
An extensive series of South American Ice Age artwork may be of interest to biblical creationists. In 2017 and 2018, scientists discovered a nearly eight-mile-long...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Dinosaurs
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

NEWS
Inside January 2021 Acts & Facts
How is ICR winning science and scientists back to Christ? What is the significance of fossil bone collagen discoveries? Did pterosaurs have feathers?...

ACTS & FACTS
Savvy Sons of Light
Many Christians grow uncomfortable when their pastor teaches about money. If it’s any consolation, I know many pastors who feel the same way....