Skomer Island, Wales This Atlantic grey seal really rocked the boat when he found himself in an unusual hang out place. After the marine mammal came across a raft anchored in the harbour where he lives, he flopped inside and wouldn’t budge for 4 days! ” One morning the seal just pulled himself aboard,” says island warren Ed Stubbings, who owns the boat/seal bed. Probably mistakening the boat for a rock, the seal made himself at home, kicking back and putting up his flippers. “The way he was bent in the boat, he looked like a giant banana,” Stubbings says. The seal didn’t move an inch—not even to eat or to relieve himself! Stubbings thinks he may have been molting, or shedding which takes a lot of energy, or h may also have been resting up from fights with other seals. Stubbings didn’t mind that the seal had “seized” the raft, but he was a little worried the 226kg seal might sink it! Luckily on the fifth day, the seal slipped back into the water and swam off. But the animals made sure the boats owner, wouldn’t forget his guest anytime soon! “The boat still reeks from his visit,” says Stubbings.:D
Gator gets new tail
When Mr.Stubbs glides through the pool at the Phoenix Herpetological Society, he looks like any other alligator – except for one thing. This alligators tail os made of rubber. Mr. Stubbs is the first alligator known to wear a prosthetic tail! He was rescued from an exotic animal smuggler, Mr.Stubbs was brought to the society 9 years ago. “His tail was missing when he arrived,” says Russ Johnson, herpetologist and society president. “He likely lost it after a bigger gator attacked him.” Without the appendage , Mr. Stubbs couldn’t walk or swim proper. “We showed him how to doggy-paddle in the water ,” says Johnson. “But eventually that hurt his back.” So Johnson asked a team of engineers who design prosthetic limbs for humans for help. After measuring the gator and studying his movements, the scientists used silicone rubber to build an artificial tail hat attaches to Mr. Stubbs’s back legs with nylon straps. “Once we harnessed him to the tail, he walked with ease,” Johnson says. To make sure the new tail didn’t way down Mr. Stubbs in the water, Johnson placed a kids floaty around the prosthetic. Soon, the gator would whip the tail from side to side, propelling himself across the pool. “Mr. Stubbs’s life has improved so much,” Johnson says. Looks like this tail has a happy ending.
The Story of Kee: A manatee who will find a new mum
How The Problem Started
Swimming along a river in Western Florida, a newborn female manatee frantically calls out for her mother with squeaky, chirp-like cries. But the baby hears no answer. the mother has disappeared, possibly scared away by the loud rumblings of a passing motorboat. Desperate for her mum’s comforting touch, the confused manatee begins nuzzling the closest big thing she could find – a docked boat.
From his home beside the river, Richard Dash sees the manatee rubbing against the boat. He keeps watch on the animal, hoping the mother will appear. But after 2 hours, she is still alone. Dash calls the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help. “A baby manatee needs it’s mother to show it where to find food” says Andrew Garrett, a rescue coordinator at the organisation. “Without a mothers guidance, chances of survival are pretty much 0.”
A team rushes to the scene and deploys a large net to catch the 3-foot-long newborn. But the little animal repeatedly slips around the net. Improvising, Garrett borrows Dash’s smaller dip net, designed for scooping up fish, and finally catches the manatee. The calf is carried to the teams van and placed in a baby pool filled with water in the back. Garrett sits by the pool to keep it steady and makes sure the manatee can breathe. The team takes off for the rehabilitation centre at Lowery Park Zoo.
After arriving at the centre, the flippered patient is given a checkup by staff. The doctors exam shows that the manatee, now known as Kee, is dehydrated and dangerously underweight. At less than 50 pounds, she’s one of the smallest orphans ever treated at the zoo. The baby is placed in a pool where staff give her 24-hour care. To boost Kee’s weight, she’s bottle-fed nutrient-packed formula every 3 hours, even through the night. Gradually Kee puts on pounds and gains strength.
A New Family
A few weeks later, an adult female manatee recovering at the centre from a collision with a boat has a baby. This gives animal care manager Virginia Edmonds an idea. She decides to introduce Kee to the new mum, named Della. Edmonds hopes that Della will adopt and raise Kee alongside her own calf, Pal. So staff placed the 3 manatees in the same pool. Within hours Della is nursing Kee with her milk. Soon Kee is getting all of her food from Della.
Eventually Della begins teach ing Kee and Pal to chow down on solid foods provided by caretakers, including romaine lettuce and hydrilla, an underwater plant that wild manatees eat. The trio spend their days gliding around the water together. For naps, all 3 sleep beside each other at the bottom of their pool, sometimes with Kee resting on Della’s back. “Della doesn’t appear to treat Kee any differently from her biological calf,” Edmond says “They’re one family.”
In September, five months after Kee is rescued, the young manatee has fattened up to 150 pounds. Della has also fully recovered from her injuries. Workers decide it’s time to release Kee and her adopted family back into the wild.
The manatees are loaded into a van and driven to Della’s home at St. John’s River. Each manatee is carried on a large trap held by several people and lowered into the water. Once submerged into the stream, the manatee family paddles away from the shore and back into the wild. “Kee is back where she belogs,” Edmonds says. “To give her a second chance so that she might have calves of her own one day-well that’s just awesome.”
The creator 😉 🙂