The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund supports the wellbeing of all kinds of animals from around the world, including manatees, some of which Guests can even spot at The Seas With Nemo & Friends in EPCOT. Recently, the Walt Disney Company joined forces with Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership to help rehabilitate and release Plantaina, a 680 lb. manatee from Florida’s St. Johns River.
Learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts in this recent rehab and release in this video courtesy of the Disney Parks Blog:
Plantaina was found abandoned as a young manatee nearby Fort Lauderdale, Florida when she was only about one week old. At 28 lbs. at the time of her rescue, she is one of the smallest manatees both Disney and the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership have taken in.
She underwent an initial rehabilitation where it was deemed a success and she was released back into the wild in February of last year, however, it came to the Partnership’s attention that while back in the wild she was dramatically losing weight. Since weight loss for this kind of animal can be a sign of serious health concerns, she was brought back to The Seas With Nemo & Friends in EPCOT for another rehabilitation treatment. When she reached her current weight of 680 lbs. and proved healthy in all other areas, she was finally re-released into the wild.
While in Disney’s care, manatees like Plantaina receive expert veterinary treatment, including whichever special treatments are required for the individual animal along with preventative care and healthy diets. When manatees are released from Disney’s facilities, they are often fixed with a tracker so they can be monitored in case their health becomes an issue later on in a way that would require some additional human care.
In addition to Plantaina, five other manatees have completed rehabilitation programs with Disney within the past year, and in total Disney has rehabbed and released 25 manatees back into the wild through these initiatives.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund supports manatees like Plantaina as well as numerous species of animals from around the world by making financial donations to up to 30 nonprofit organizations each year. You can help support the Disney Conservation Fund by making a donation in either Disney’s Animal Kingdom or at The Seas With Nemo & Friends in EPCOT. And, Disney matches all donations and covers all overhead costs so you can be sure your donation is going directly to animals in need.