It’s raining seahorses in Clearwater, Florida, and you can watch all the excitement live streaming online. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), notorious as being the home of Winter the Dolphin, is a marine hospital that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases many animals. In May, news of a rescued seahorse recuperating at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium named Cheeto went viral. After providing rehabilitation care for Cheeto and setting up a live cam where people could watch Cheeto’s recovery, Cheeto was released back to the wild, according to updates provided by the CMA. Just several weeks following Cheeto’s release, a second seahorse was brought to the CMA for rehab: Funyun. Like Cheeto, Funyun is undergoing rehabilitation, has a live cam, and is soon to be released back in the wild. You may read more about Funyun the seahorse’s rescue at the CMA.
In early May, a little girl spending the day at Indian Shores Beach saw a seagull fly overhead then drop something from its mouth. Curious, the little girl investigated believing what she saw was a Cheeto. On closer inspection, she discovered the seagull had dropped a little orange seahorse. The girl and her mother put the seahorse in a bucket and brought her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Cheeto stayed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium until she was released back into the wild on May 16, 2017. You may watch video footage of Cheeto at the aquarium as taken via the live cam as well as video from her release in the video player below.
Funyun’s story begins on May 25, 2017, when Ohio tourists discovered a tiny gray seahorse on Indian Rocks beach while looking for seashells. They had put the seahorse back in the water but she didn’t swim away. Instead, she floated to the water’s surface. After looking for help for the seahorse, they heard about Cheeto’s story and arrangements were made to transfer the tiny seahorse to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The seahorse was named Funyun and she is the same lined seahorse breed as Cheeto.
Funyun underwent medical attention and was brought to the CMA in critical condition. She underwent x-rays to help diagnose her buoyancy condition. Funyun was diagnosed with an overinflated swim bladder, a condition that made it difficult for her to swim and catch her own food. She underwent a medical procedure and has been thriving ever since. Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates released a statement about Cheeto and Funyun.
“Incredibly, Cheeto’s story of survival inspired the survival of another seahorse, Funyun. The level of care provided by the CMA team for Funyun, due to her serious condition, is inspiring.”
Both Cheeto and Funyun are considered very lucky seahorses who happened to be in the right place at a time when their rescues were possible. If it weren’t for the heroic actions of those who found them and the medical expertise of the Clearwater Marine Academy’s staff, it’s doubtful Cheeto or Funyun would have survived their ordeals. The fact that medical technology can save the lives of such small marine animals is a testament to the marvels of modern medicine and science.
June just happens to be National Zoo and Aquarium Month and there are observances throughout the month that focus on preserving and caring for wildlife. It is also National Oceans Month as declared by presidential proclamations, and June 8 is World Ocean Day. There may be no better way to celebrate all three of these events than through Funyun’s story. Now that Funyun has returned to health, she is scheduled to be returned to the wild on Monday, June 12, 2017. She will be set free in the same vicinity where Cheeto was released. Until then, she can be visited at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and you can watch her on her live cam. For best viewing, watch the live cam beginning at 8 a.m. ET.
Watch Cheeto and Funyun via Live Cam Videos
[Featured Image by Clearwater Marine Aquarium]