About Lil Joe

Gender: Male
Current Tag Id:

Lil Joe was rescued on 7/30/89 as an orphaned calf in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, FL. At the time he was 104 cm long and weighed 42 lbs. He has been rehabilitated at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL, SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld California, and the Cincinnati Zoo. He is now 332 cm long and weighs 1649 lbs. Lil Joe was released at Blue Spring State Park on Tuesday, 2/15/11, by Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Blue Spring staff and volunteers, and Sea To Shore Alliance. He was given an orange and white tag.

  1. 01/12/2012 08:33 PM
    • Lil Joe milled by himself at the southern entrance to Lake George on Tuesday, 12/06/11. He milled and socialized with 4 other animals in the cove west of Lake Dexter on Tuesday, 12/13/11, and dove to avoid a bass boat who disobeyed the Slow Speed zone throughout the cove and passed within 20 ft of the group on plane. On Thursday, 12/15/11, he milled, socialized, and dove and traveled away from another speeding boater with a group of 8 other animals. He traveled and fed briefly on hydrilla with one other animal there on Wednesday, 12/28/11.
      On Thursday, 12/29/11, Lil Joe had moved from the cove west of Lake Dexter south down the main channel to the bend in the channel just below the lake and traveling south. Temperature was 18 C and other animals around. On Friday, 12/30/11, he was further south with 2 others, halfway between Lake Dexter and 44 bridge in the channel, just south of Twin Lakes, traveling south. He stopped briefly to feed on water lettuce. Temperature was still 18 C.
      By Monday, 1/02/12, unfortunately he was back up in the cove west of Lake Dexter. Temperature there was holding at 18 C and he was by himself. We are starting to become concerned that he seems to travel only part of the way south to Blue Spring and then turn around and head back; he had done this one other time in November when there was a mild cold front but it warmed up significantly before he made it all the way to the spring and he turned back and headed north again.  We are on watch for potentially calling for a capture for Lil Joe.
      Buddy conducted flights for both Slip and Lil Joe on Tuesday, 1/03/12, and Wednesday, 1/04/12. That Tuesday Lil Joe was heard in Lake George just outside the entrance to Silver Glen Springs, though unfortunately Melody was unable to locate him there by boat, so he may have still been further out into the lake and in deeper water. After the Slip capture on 1/04/12, Lil Joe’s belt frequency was located in front of Astor Landing just north of Lake Dexter on Thursday, 1/05/12, along the west edge of the channel at a depth of 8 ft.  After spending time narrowing the frequency down to one spot, the signal did not move all afternoon and there was no movement in the area.  Water temperature there today was 15 C.  An anchor was dragged across the area to attempt to recover what is hopefully just his belt that came off but that was unsuccessful.  Since then there has been absolutely no sign of a carcass in the area and the belt signal remains where it was. We will continue with attempts to recover the belt and will keep everyone posted.
  2. 11/30/2011 11:01 PM
    • Lil Joe traveled in Stagger Mud Lake with 4 other animals on Sunday, 10/30/11. He was in a cove of Lake Dexter on Sunday, 11/06/11. On Friday, 11/11/11, he fed, milled, and traveled with 4 other animals in Norris Dead River. Water temperature there was 20.5 C. He socialized with 3 animals in Lake Dexter on Saturday, 11/12/11, where the temperature was 21 C. He milled and socialized with 3 other animals in the cove west of Lake Dexter. Water temperature there was 21 C. On Thursday, 11/24/11, he milled and traveled with 2 others in a cove of Lake Dexter, where temperature was 22 C. He milled and socialized with 4 others there on Tuesday, 11/29/11.

  3. 10/26/2011 10:55 PM
    • Lil Joe was seen on Sunday, 9/25/11, milling, socializing, and feeding on unknown vegetation in Lake Dexter.  He was with 4 other animals.  His back had no new scars as of that visual.  His tag was recovered on Saturday, 10/15/11, on the edge of Lake Dexter close to the channel, tangled in a large mass of hydrilla and further hidden beneath a mat of water hyacinth.  Vegetation is very thick there.  Lil Joe was observed milling and traveling with 2 other animals that day in a cove near Lake Dexter.  He was seen again on Tuesday, 10/25/11, milling, socializing, and feeding on hydrilla with 6 other animals in Lake Dexter.

  4. 09/26/2011 10:53 PM
    • On Monday, 9/05/11, Lil Joe socialized and fed with 2 other animals in Lake Dexter. He fed, traveled, and socialized with 4 other animals in Lake Dexter on Sunday, 9/18/11. He was seen again on Sunday, 9/25/11, in a cove near Lake Dexter, milling, feeding, and socializing with 4 other animals. Volunteers Kayla and Mark were able to get a good look at his dorsal side and saw that he looked good with no new scars.
  5. 09/06/2011 03:27 PM
    • 8/12/11-9/06/11: Lil Joe socialized, milled, and possibly fed on Sunday, 8/14/11, in the northeast corner of Lake Dexter.  He was with 4 other animals.  On Sunday, 8/28/11, he socialized and fed with 7 other animals in the cove west of Lake Dexter. 

      7/26/11-8/11/11: He was seen milling and feeding by himself in Tick Island Mud Lake on Sunday, 7/24/11.  Gas was seen from him during the visual, which shows he has been feeding.

      6/24/11-7/11/11: Lil Joe socialized, milled, and traveled along the north bank of Lake Dexter with 6 other animals on Sunday, 7/03/11. 

      6/02/11-6/23/11: Lil Joe was seen socializing and briefly traveling in a group of 6 other animals, including Webster and Slip, along the south shore of Lake Dexter on Sunday, 6/05/11.  Gas was seen from him during the visual, indicative of feeding.

      5/16/11-6/01/11: Lil Joe was re-released on Tuesday, 5/31/11, into Lake Dexter near Slip who was feeding with a mother-calf pair.  He socialized and began feeding with them.

      3/25/11-4/10/11: Lil Joe was located about halfway down the Silver Glen Spring run on Friday morning, 3/25/11, by himself, alternately pacing slowly in the small cove on the south side of the run and staying quietly on bottom.  He was captured by SeaWorld Orlando and Sea To Shore via boat, then brought to shore.  It had been decided by FWS, FWC, Dr. Ray Ball of Lowry Park Zoo, and Sea To Shore that he should have a health assessment.  In light of the combined factors of cold stress lesions, a flat belly, not much feeding behavior, and no gas observed, Dr. Ball suggested he should be brought into critical care at SeaWorld instead of simply being relocated to an area with other animals.  At the time of capture he still had above-normal levels of back fat.  Lil Joe was immediately placed in the heated med pool at SeaWorld, where he will be given electrolyte water to rehydrate as well as food.  We expect a quick turnaround and will hopefully be able to re-release Lil Joe soon.

      3/11/11-3/24/11: This week Lil Joe was observed Wednesday, 3/16/11, and Friday, 3/18/11, bottom-resting or staying quietly at the boil of Silver Glen Spring.  Some cold stress spots can now be seen on him.  He has been in the Silver Glen Spring run since Monday, 3/14/11, and at the boil for the last week, but we suspect he sustained some cold stress on his way here from Blue Spring. Park staff did report seeing gas from him on Thursday, 3/17/11, as well as seeing vegetation coming out of his mouth, and during our observations we are especially looking for any other sign that his gastrointestinal tract is not shutting down, an effect which sometimes follows cold stress.
      On Saturday, 3/19/11, he was seen bottom-resting and staying quietly at the boil for the majority of the day.  At one point he ate a leaf floating on the water's surface and then continued to stay calmly on bottom without continuing feeding activity until later that afternoon.  As the park began to clear out he was slowly milling around a bit more at the boil, then paced quickly for about 15 minutes, then mouthed the bottom around the boil where there were little bits of algae, appearing to be foraging.  
      On Sunday, 3/20/11, he fed on shoreline vegetation at the boil for about 25 minutes.  However, since then no feeding has been observed and he has been quietly resting or staying in the boil, and during our visuals no gas has been seen.  On Thursday, 3/24/11, he was still at the boil, pacing.  Very limited feeding, cold stress, bouts of pacing, and somewhat sedentary behavior have us concerned.  We are planning to capture him tomorrow for a health assessment, and he will be relocated to an area with other animals or, if needed, brought back into a critical care facility.

      3/01/11-3/10/11: He was observed on Monday, 2/28/11, in the central-west portion of Lake George along the shore, milling by himself.

  6. 04/20/2011 12:00 AM
    • 2/15/11-2/28/11: He was observed on Friday, 2/18/11, milling and pacing by himself by the side of the main channel south of Horseshoe Mud Lake. He was seen again on Tuesday, 2/22/11, milling and traveling with Webster at the side of the main channel of the river near Stagger Mud Lake.

Data map is currently not present for Lil Joe.