Conservation & Research

Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Tampa Unite to Release Rehabilitated Manatees

As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Tampa collaborate to release two rehabilitated manatees to their natural habitat after a journey of care and recovery. 

The story of these majestic sea creatures unfolds as they are released back into the ocean waters:

Where it all started:

Their journey began when the Zoo Tampa team rescued these young, stranded manatees after being found stranded, cold-stunned, and emaciated. They provided initial health assessments and care for several weeks. However, due to their fragile state, it was deemed necessary for the manatees to gain additional weight and vitality before being released back into their natural habitat.

As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership, Georgia Aquarium staff stepped in to help provide a haven for these marine mammals while nurturing them back to health at our off-site facility.


See their journey from Zoo Tampa to Georgia Aquarium:

From Rescue to Release








Turning a new (lettuce) leaf: 

Under the watchful eye of Georgia Aquarium staff, the manatees underwent an attentive rehabilitation process to ensure they were ready to return to the ocean. Over the past several months, the dedicated care and attention of the Aquarium team paid off. The manatees gained substantial weight and strength. 

Before being officially approved for release, the manatees underwent thorough health assessments to ensure they were in peak condition. These assessments, combined with the unwavering care from the Zoo Tampa and Georgia Aquarium teams, ensure that these manatees have the best possible chance for survival.

Check in with our manatees before their release:

From Rescue to Release 2

A manatee-tale ending: 

The time has finally come!

Reuniting with the team at Zoo Tampa, this story comes full circle. On January 30, the Georgia Aquarium team traveled to the coast of Tampa, FL. Joining Zoo Tampa staff and other partners in releasing these two manatees back into their home waters. 

The successful rehabilitation and release of these two manatees symbolizes a beacon of hope for the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve marine life. Its also a reminder of the impact that collaborative initiatives and compassionate care can have on the lives of these and other species, contributing to a healthier and more vibrant marine ecosystem.

Take a look at their heartwarming release (get the tissues ready):

From Rescue to Release 1



This story is not only a testament to the successful collaboration between two renowned institutions, but also a celebration of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership’s mission to provide a safe haven for manatees in need. Georgia Aquarium takes pride in being a valuable member of this partnership, contributing to the conservation and well-being of these incredible marine mammals.


Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. that is Humane Certified by American Humane and accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Georgia Aquarium is committed to working on behalf of all marine life through education, preservation, exceptional animal care, and research across the globe. Georgia Aquarium continues its mission each day to inspire, educate, and entertain its millions of guests about the aquatic biodiversity throughout the world through its engaging exhibits and tens of thousands of animals across its eight major galleries.

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