The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium
The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water, including a medical pool. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy and offers above and below water viewing. Manatee Care Specialists provide presentations about manatee habitat, nutrition and physiology. Working closely with US Fish and Wildlife and critical care hospitals for manatees, the Museum’s Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium is a second stage rehabilitation facility. A second stage facility provides a temporary home for manatees that will be released back into the wild after having received treatment from an acute care hospital. The Aquarium has housed 36 manatees as part of the rehabilitation program. The facility was the permanent home to Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, Snooty, who passed away in 2017 at a record-breaking 69 years old.
Seeing Manatees in the Wild
The South Florida Museum (especially our team at the Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium!) would like to recommend that boaters and kayakers use new banners being furnished by Save The Manatee Club. The banners represent a new, and highly visible way to remind the boating community to be watchful for endangered manatees and other widlife year around while on Florida’s busy waterways. Boaters can be active participants in manatee protection by holding aloft the Club’s public awareness banner whenever a manatee is sighted. If you do not already have a banner they are free to the boating public! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free 1-800-432-5646 to request an attention-getting, waterproof banner.
Exhibit: Being a Sea Turtle is Hard — But You Can Help!
Sea turtles and manatees share similar evolutionary histories — both animals are descendants of terrestrial species. Unfortunately, they also share similar threats — from loss of habitat to man-made obstacles. All sea turtle species are federally listed as threatened or endangered.
This exhibition highlights some of the ways that the public can be good stewards and help keep sea turtles safe on our local beaches and in our local waterways. It features life-size scientific illustrations of the five sea turtle species that call the Gulf of Mexico home, along with the skeleton of a loggerhead sea turtle — the most common sea turtle species on Florida’s west coast and shows the ecosystem connections that manatees and sea turtles share.
“Being a Sea Turtle is Hard — But You Can Help!” also showcases information about loggerhead nesting on Anna Maria Island as monitored by the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, with running totals of false crawls and nests laid during the annual May-October sea turtle nesting season and shows the public how they can make a difference in the lives of these animals.
The exhibit was funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is supported by proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at helpingseaturtles.org.