Cheeto, The Lucky Seahorse, Inspires Rescue of Funyun
Less than two weeks after the release of Cheeto the lucky seahorse, watched by millions around the world, another seahorse was saved by caring tourists and help from Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Funyun is a female lined seahorse, just like Cheeto, and was rescued near the same Pinellas County beach. Thanks to Cheeto’s famous rescue story Funyun’s rescuers knew to call Clearwater Marine Aquarium!
Struggling Seahorse Found While Searching for Seashells
On Thursday, May 25, Maria and her fiancé Joscelynne went for an early morning walk on Indian Rocks Beach. The two were on vacation from Ohio with Maria’s family.
While looking for seashells, they noticed something small and gray washed up on the sand. At first they thought it was a unique shell, but then realized it was breathing. They had inadvertently found a tiny seahorse struggling to survive.
The two tried to place the seahorse back in the water, but it helplessly floated on the surface. They knew something was wrong, so Maria waited in the water with the seahorse while Joscelynne ran to find a bucket.
The pair have a passion for marine life, and watched over the seahorse for hours. Maria searched on her phone for a local rescue center and discovered Cheeto the seahorse’s amazing rescue story. She quickly gave Clearwater Marine Aquarium a call.
A CMA rescuer arrived to bring the seahorse, affectionately named Funyun due to its tan color, back to the aquarium for triage and rehabilitation.
X-Rays and Treatment for Seahorse With Buoyancy Issue
Funyun arrived at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in serious condition. She suffered a buoyancy issue, struggling to swim and clinging to a branch to stop from floating to the surface. Her condition made it very difficult for her to catch food.
CMA veterinary staff carefully x-rayed the small seahorse and found she had an overinflated swim bladder. The CMA team collaborated with veterinarians who specialize in seahorses to determine that the best course of treatment was to remove some of the air from her swim bladder.
Using a small needle, excess air was carefully removed and soon enough she was swimming and eating normally.
Funyun Recovering and Will Be Released Soon
“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 remarkable,” says David Yates, CEO, Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Funyun reached full recovery and was released on Monday, June 12 in a seagrass bed near Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Seagrass beds are an ideal habitat for seahorses. Funyun was transferred to her release location on a CMA rescue boat. Watch her release on Facebook.