Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Ailing manatee calf rescued near marine science lab in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A manatee calf apparently suffering from cold stress was rescued by state biologists Wednesday when it surfaced in Bayboro Harbor near the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. It was taken to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for rehabilitation.

The calf, measuring about 4 feet long, was spotted about 8:30 a.m., according to Kevin Baxter of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the state marine science laboratory, which is also on Bayboro Harbor. Lowry experts estimated the calf's age to be about a month old.

Manatees, particularly young ones, are susceptible to stress when the water temperature dips below about 65 degrees. They develop lesions on their bodies and they surface rapidly, trying to catch a breath. The calf found Wednesday was popping up about every 15 seconds rather than every five minutes, Baxter said.

A rescue crew from the state lab netted the calf and took it to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa for rehabilitation, Baxter said. The crew tried to capture its mother, but she wouldn't come close enough to be caught, he said.

The 90-pound male calf arrived at Lowry Park Zoo about 1 p.m. in critical condition, said Rachel Nelson, zoo spokeswoman. The manatee was put in a heated pool and will be fed by bottle. Nelson said the staff will be keeping a constant eye on the calf to watch for further signs of distress in breathing and behavior.

Florida's manatees have been on the federal endangered species list since the first list came out in 1967. The population is now estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000. So far 207 have been killed by Red Tide around Lee County this year, breaking all records, while more than 80 have been killed in Brevard by a mysterious ailment.

Craig Pittman can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
Lindsey Vonn scatters grandfather’s ashes near downhill course

Lindsey Vonn scatters grandfather’s ashes near downhill course

JEONGSEON, South Korea — Lindsey Vonn came to South Korea with the goal of taking home an Olympic medal and leaving something even more special behind. She did both. The American ski great said Thursday she recently scattered some of the ashe...
Updated: 0 minutes ago
Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning.According to deputies, 37-year-old Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m. when he struck a cement median and lost ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

Tampa Bay area’s population projected to grow to 3.1 million this year

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay area’s population, already the largest of any metropolitan area in the state, is projected to grow from 3 million last year to 3.1 million this year, and to 3.3 million over the next five years.That growth is expected to bring c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a suspect who, armed with a machete, robbed a Plant City convenience store on Tuesday.Police say the suspect arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S around 2:50 a.m. and demanded...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor at U.S. Capitol

MONTREAT, N.C. — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Rev. Billy Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for two days next week. Ryan says he’s inviting members of Congress and the public to pay their respects to the man called "...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Top 5 at noon: Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons; about those annoying popups on your phones; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:TRUMP ENDORSES RAISING MINIMUM AGE TO 21 FOR MORE WEAPONSPresident Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures today, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

TAMPA — A 54-year-old inmate died Saturday after she became unresponsive at the Falkenburg Road Jail, authorities said.Tammie Castro was alert in the jail infirmary when jail officials called for paramedics at 3:34 a.m. but became unresponsive within...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

Work finally starts on downtown St. Petersburg’s newest hotel

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly a decade after it was first proposed, a new boutique hotel in downtown St. Petersburg is finally under construction.Workers are preparing the foundation of the Galaxy, an 11-story, 92-room hotel at Third Avenue N and First Str...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Updated: 3 hours ago