South Florida Museum aquarium director dedicated to saving manatees

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MANATEE COUNTY – The new aquarium director at the South Florida Museum is dedicated to saving manatees.

Virginia Edmonds was a former caretaker at the Lowry Park Zoo and came to the South Florida Museum shortly after Snooty’s death. She has 27 years experience with animals and helped build the Manatee Rehab Program at Lowry Park Zoo. She wants to teach visitors what affects manatees in the wild so they too can help protect them.

Edmonds also wants to expand the Parker Aquarium’s Stage 2 Rehab Center, which has rehabbed 34 manatees in 25 years. The tank is currently able to hold three adult manatees or three to four juvenile manatees at a time.

Edmonds says she wants the museum to be prepared to help in the event of a catastrophic manatee incident, such as red tide and cold stress, which in years past has killed over 300 manatees in a single season.