Justice for Romeo! America's loneliest manatee will finally be moved after ... trends now
America's loneliest manatee is set to be moved from his tiny 30ft concrete pool in Miami after outcry from animal right activist over his living conditions.
The 67-year-old has been at the Miami Seaquarium since 1956, and campaigners say he has been kept in isolation since at least April.
US Fish and Wildlife Services have confirmed that they will be transporting Romeo from the center, where the 'loneliest whale in the world', Lolita, died earlier this year
A spokesperson for the service said: 'The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes the health and welfare of manatees in managed care seriously.
'The Service is working with an experienced team of manatee rescue and rehabilitation experts through the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership to assist with the transport effort of manatees from Miami Seaquarium.'
Romeo has been kept at the Seaquarium since 1956 and campaigners say he has been alone since at least April of this year
The manatees at the facility are to be moved and receive appropriate care, with three of them appearing to be experiencing health issues.
It remains unclear when and where Romeo will be moved to, Miami Seaquarium told DailyMail.com they are 'evaluating' the best option for the animals.
They said: 'At this moment we are evaluating along with the authorities and other partners the best option for our manatees.'
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that transport of the animals was high-risk, but necessary for the animals' future wellbeing.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture slammed the site operators, The Dolphin Company, for their treatment of Romeo and general poor care.
Manatees are semi-social animals and 'suffer psychologically when not living in pairs or groups' - but Romeo has long been separated from his partner, and the mother of his offspring, Juliet, and has been alone since his other companions were released.
Video of Romeo swimming forlornly in his tank - estimated to be just 30ft wide - went viral last week as surfing legend Kelly Slater backed a campaign for his release, which quickly gained more than 20,000 signatures.
The video, shot by campaign group UrgentSeas, pans over a desolate area of the park before zooming in on the solitary figure of Romeo, spinning in circles in the murky waters.
UrgentSeas co-founder, Phil Demers, claims that Romeo has been kept alone in the tank in 'Pompano pools' which are closed to the public, since at least last April.
It is not clear exactly how long he has been alone, or why he cannot be with his partner Juliet, but Demers said: 'He was separated from Juliet a long time ago - I think it's a breeding issue, they aren't allowed to breed manatees.'
In an update, Demers said: 'US Fish and Wildlife are expected to relocate Romeo, Juliet and another manatee from the Miami Seaquarium to an MPR (Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership) facility in the coming days. Can’t happen soon enough.'
The drone footage shows Romeo alone in a small concrete tank in an 'off-limits' area of the park where he is allegedly kept alone
Sharing the original video online, Demers wrote: 'This video was taken on November 13, 2023, above the Miami Seaquarium.
'Romeo, a 67-year-old manatee lives in complete isolation in ever-deteriorating conditions. We must fight for Romeo!'
Romeo's plight was picked up by 11-time World Surf League champ Kelly Slater who called for people to put pressure on the Florida aquarium to release him.
Kelly Slater told DailyMail.com: 'I’m always confused and sad seeing these stories. For context, I don’t know how the manatee ended up in the aquarium or if there is a reason it can’t be returned to the wild but my thoughts on it are that manatees are very social creatures and very free, roaming large distances across the state of Florida.
'They’re the gentlest creatures in the world and such a