If you have grown up or lived in Ohio, seeing manatees at a zoo may not seem like a huge deal. It turns out the manatee exhibit at the Cincinnati and Columbus Zoo is incredibly unique. The manatee species common in North America are native to the Florida waters, but outside Florida, manatees can only be seen in captivity within Ohio. Both the Cincinnati and Columbus Zoo participate in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Program. Both zoos have world-class facilities and programs to rehabilitate injured manatees. Once a manatee has regained its health and strength, it is transported back to Florida for release into the wild. Due to the threatened status of manatees, both the Cincinnati and Columbus Zoo attempt to inform its visitors of the manatee’s situation with information related to manatee conservation. Currently, there are two manatees in captivity at the Columbus Zoo (Stubby and Cadbury) and two at the Cincinnati Zoo (Abigail & Betsy).
A big thanks to RandomOhio for the idea!