CINCINNATI, Ohio - Two orphaned – and growing – manatees at an Ohio zoo have hefty appetites.
Between Pippen and Truffleshuffle, two Florida manatees that are part of a rehabilitation program at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, they can devour 504 heads of romaine lettuce, 168 heads of endive and 3.5 cases of kale. That’s every week, according to the zoo.
The zoo shared a Facebook video titled, ‘Lettuce celebrate,” showing the duo chomping down on the greens.
“The two orphaned manatees will stay at the Cincinnati Zoo until they are big enough to be released back into Florida waters. With appetites like these it shouldn't take long,” the zoo wrote in the Facebook post.
Pippen arrived at the zoo in October 2017 from SeaWorld Orlando. It hasn’t been quite ready to be released back in Florida waters. As of October 2019, Pippen weighed 500 pounds, but needs to 600 pounds in order to return back to its home state.
Truffleshuffle arrived at the zoo in October 2019 weighing 435 pounds.
The zoo participates in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program, Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership. It is designed to rescue and treat sick, injured and orphaned manatees before releasing them back into the wild.
The Cincinnati Zoo is one of only two U.S. zoos outside of Florida that participate in the program.