Injured baby manatee is recovering

The gentle sea creature known as the manatee has had a rather unlucky last few months. There have been 20 cases of manatees injured or dying as a result of running into propeller boats in the open waters. Today there was another case reported, this time of a motherless manatee calf. With more here is manatee researcher Jamal Galvez of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute/Sea to Shore Alliance.

Jamal Galvez – Coastal Zone Management Authority:
vlcsnap-2013-06-21-20h30m31s18This morning around 9 o’clock, we had a call from the people at the Belize Marine Farms on the Western Highway. They said there was a baby manatee in the canal swimming weirdly on its size. So we responded and upon responding, we observed the animal for a while and we noticed that it was by itself and it had a wound. An animal this size is not used to being by itself, so after analyzing the situation, we decided to pull the animal in and try to take it to a rehabilitation center and see what we can do for the animal.

Mr Galvez told us that all things considered the animal can be expected to recover.

Jamal Galvez – Coastal Zone Management Authority:
vlcsnap-2013-06-21-20h31m01s78I like to think positively and I’ll give it every chance that it has to survive and I would want to believe that in the next couple of months, you guys will be seeing this animal swimming around. We have a wonderful rehabilitation center in Belize ran by Wild Tracks. We have injuries that have been dealt with like this. So I feel that the chances are high and we want to keep our fingers cross and hope that there are no serious complications.

Mr Galvez renews the call for boaters to pay attention in manatee-populated areas.

Jamal Galvez – Coastal Zone Management Authority: 
We are asking that boaters please slow, in areas where you know manatees are, look out for them. This is actually the twentieth stranded animal for the year and we are just halfway through the year, so this is not good news.

Reporter:
Is that above average?

Jamal Galvez – Coastal Zone Management Authority:
vlcsnap-2013-06-21-20h31m30s111It’s getting there. Last year we had twenty one for the entire year and we are very close to reaching the mark from last year already. So we ask that people be cautious, look out and if you guys see any manatees around injured or looking weird, please feel to call the Coastal Zone Management and Authority.

Reporter:
I don’t want to put you in a tough spot, but doesn’t events like this and the number of stranding we have had this year doesn’t that underscore the fact that really the problem is not any cause way, the problem are the boats?

Jamal Galvez – Coastal Zone Management Authority:
True. Manatees are getting hit in the open water, but the only place they have to shelter is the Swallow Caye. This one piece of property; out of all the water ways in Belize, this small area is for the manatees. If there are so many problems outside, why bring problems to their homes?

The baby manatee remains in recovery.

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