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Oceanariums: Beneficial to the Animals and the Public
Tuesday April 23, 1996 at approximately 8 a.m. Florida's Homosassa Springs Park was the sight of a joyous event. Sweet Pea, a wayward manatee rescued more than 900 miles from her home, was ready to be introduced to the wild. The 1,450 pound manatee was spotted near a municipal wastewater treatment plant in the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. She was rescued and rushed to Sea World of Texas for monitoring, tests, and round-the-clock care. After gaining more than 200 pounds, animal care experts at Sea World believed it was time for Sweet Pea to take another step closer to her eventual reintroduction. This manatee's story from Siren's Song (Sea World Education) ended in triumph but it also underscores the dedication of people who fight to save these endangered animals. Without successful rehabilitation programs such as the one above hosted by an oceanarium like Sea World, Sweet Pea and many other manatee's would die. Oceanariums are moral and beneficial because they directly educate the public about conservation ecology, they provide suit habitats and environmental enrichment for all of their fish and mammals, and they perform research studies on social behavior and population that allow for new methods of treatment and understanding of marine life in the wild.…
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