Betsy the Manatee Welcomed Home

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has welcomed Betsy the manatee back home.

Betsy arrives from the Cincinnati Zoo, where she has lived for the last seven years.

 

She was born at the park on October 19, 1990, and weighed from 60 to 70 pounds at birth. Amanda was her mother.

Betsy was transferred in November 2010 to the Cincinnati Zoo for their manatee exhibit and has been there for seven years.

 

Betsy is hoisted in a protective tarp and moved to the Manatee Care Center pool at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

 

With the return of Betsy, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park will now be home to four resident manatees including Lorelei, Ariel, Electra, and Betsy.

The park is also a rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned manatees.

 

As Betsy the manatee is lowered into the Manatee Care Center pool, rescue workers make sure everything is optimal. All images courtesy of Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

 

On November 15, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park lifts the gates in the Long River Bridge for the winter season to allow wild manatees access to the main spring’s warmer waters.

The resident manatees and the rehabilitation manatees will be in special enclosures including the in-ground pool of the Manatee Care Center during this time.  The gates close again March 31.

 

The tarp system is opened after Betsy the manatee is placed in the center of the Manatee Care Center pool. Workers ensure she is ok and then water will fill the pool.  Betsy will be reacclimated and released into the Park’s main manatee area.