If you are in the Tampa, Florida area, stop by the South Florida Museum and visit with the manatees that have made their home at The Parker Manatee Aquarium. It is a great break from the history of the museum and the darkness of outer space. You will be able to enjoy the manatees as you are amazed by this creature and learn more about them.
The aquarium holds about 60,000 gallons of water and is designed to hold three adult manatees and has a medication pool. The design of the aquarium has both deep and shallow areas giving the manatees the freedom to keep their natural feeding habits.
The Parker Manatee Aquarium works closely with US Fish and Wildlife to offer critical care for injured and misplaced manatees. It is the second stage facility for manatees and is the last step before they are returned to the wild. It is like a recovery room for the sea creatures as it is where they go after receiving medical treatment from an acute care hospital.
Guest can see the exhibit area, which is designed to educate the public about manatee anatomy and habitat. It also has an above and below water viewing area so guests can see the manatees interacting with each other in the water.
So far the aquarium has been a second home to 28 different manatees as part of this rehabilitation program. Though others have come and gone, the Parker Manatee Aquarium has become a permanent home to Manatee County’s most famous resident “Snooty.” “Snooty” is also the mascot for the aquarium.
Educational show and feeding times at the Parker Aquarium are on Tuesday through Saturday 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. and on Sundays at 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
For additional information about the Parker Manatee Aquarium visit the South Florida Museum’s website at www.southfloridamuseum.org.