What makes the zoo's David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital stand apart is that it's the only nonprofit hospital designed to treat and care for critically injured, sick and orphaned wild manatees. It is also the staff, led by Ball, who helped the zoo earn The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accreditation viewed as the gold standard of veterinary excellence. The Lowry Park Zoo is the first zoo in the U.S. and Canada to earn AAHA accreditation.
Things like common respect for the environment play a huge role in the lives of manatees. Throwing garbage into the water can be a matter of life and death. When talking about Emoji, Ball asks, "How many animals did this happen to that we don't know about or have the good fortune to help and intervene?"