On Manatee Appreciation Day, SeaWorld Orlando opened the new Manatee Rehabilitation area, allowing guests a never-before-seen behind-the-scenes look into the rescue and rehabilitation work SeaWorld does to help save wild manatees.

You may not have known but behind the scenes of SeaWorld is a 5-acre rescue center used for rehabilitating rescued wildlife. In years past, guests have been able to experience the manatees in a guided tour, but just recently the Orlando theme park has opened up sections of the manatee rehabilitation area for complimentary viewing.

The behind-the-scenes look helps guests better understand the troubles manatees face in the ocean including boat strikes, cold stress and entanglement. The area also teaches simple actions to help keep the manatee safe. In addition to viewing the animals currently under rehabilitation, which include sea cows Trooper and TM1606, guests can also take a peek at the animals’ medical charts, experience interactive exhibits, and even watch the animals interact in their pools via underwater viewing cameras and videos.

The Manatee Rehabilitation area is located near the exit of the Turtle Trek attraction.

The new attraction is in line with SeaWorld’s commitment to animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. The company’s goal for every animal rescued is to successfully rehabilitate and return it to the wild. To do so, the SeaWorld team works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine when a manatee is ready to be returned as well as when and where they will be released. So far, the park has rehabbed more than 500 manatees.

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