We bid farewell yesterday to a visitor that just about everyone fell in love with while he was here.
His stay was short; he just got here late Wednesday, 9 August.
Yesterday Trinity Air Ambulance parked at the tarmac of Owen Roberts Airport and whisked our new friend, 4B, off to Tampa.
There he’ll be taken to Lowry Park Zoo where he’ll be taken care of.
The fact that 4B is alive and well enough to take the trip is a testament to many humans in the Cayman Islands.
The two- to three-week-old manatee was in a bad way when Mark Bothwell, Barry Bush, Brett Burell and Craig Burke spotted and rescued him.
The 53-pound baby boy manatee was dehydrated, had gas and was in need of antibiotics.
Department of Environment Research Officer Janice Blumenthal quickly realized she was going to have to have some help feeding the baby and issued a call for volunteers. Many answered and took turns feeding 4B every three hours.
Ms Blumenthal said she’s trying to contact all the volunteers by telephone to thank them. We take this opportunity to add our thanks.
Since he’s been in our midst 4B has put on some weight and captured the hearts of everyone who got a chance to be around him.
We don’t know what’s in store for 4B’s future, but we can take comfort in knowing that the people of the Cayman Islands rallied to keep the baby alive and restore its health.
Lowry Park is one of three rehabilitation facilities for manatees. The park has had 133 animals taken to its facility and 69 of them have been released back into the wild.
It will take a while before 4B can be released. He’ll nurse for about two years.
It would be great if 4B’s mom could be found and the two reunited.
Because he was found in Cayman waters we have no idea where his mother came from.
There have been no sightings of her, so it’s unlikely she’s still off Cayman’s shores.
It’s a comfort to know that 4B is going to be taken care of at a facility that has a long history of rehabilitating orphaned and sick manatees.
And Tampa isn’t all that far away; just a quick plane ride on Cayman Airways. Lowry Park Zoo is easy to get to by car. While 4B has left our shores, maybe those of us who trek to Tampa can go see him.
To all the volunteers, groups and agencies that helped with 4B we say thanks. You all helped save one of God’s creatures.