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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Baby manatee rescued from lagoon in Quintana Roo

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Caribbean Manatees are endemic to the Bay of Chetumal and its surrounding lagoons. Photo: Courtesy

A lone baby manatee, apparently abandoned by his mother, was rescued in Laguna Milagros, Quintana Roo. 

The tiny calf would have most likely died without the intervention of rescuers who were alerted of the calves’ precarious state by locals from the area. 

“Male calves are in a difficult situation as they are expected to fend for themselves at a very young age, unlike females of the species who are cared for by their group,” said rescuer Benito García. 

The calf is being cared for by Quintana Roo’s center for aquatic mammals in Laguna Guerrero, where he is fed a lactose formula every three hours during the day and every six during nighttime hours. 

Workers at the center hope that he is soon able to gain enough weight to be reintroduced to the wild. 

Workers and volunteers at the marine center say they have not yet agreed on a name for the calf but said that they would likely announce one soon.

Earlier: Rare baby Lora turtles seen in Yucatán for the first time

The area where the baby manatee was found is full of lagoons and is just a few kilometers away from the Bay of Chetumal and the banks of the Hondo River, which divides Mexico and Belize.

The case of this particular manatee is reminiscent of the case of Daniel, a manatee rescued under similar conditions nearly 20 years ago.

In this case, the manatee was similarly nursed to health and allowed to grow in captivity before he was successfully returned to his habitat.

But that does not keep Daniel the manatee from swimming by to visit his friends at the aquatic animal center from time to time.

At over twenty years old, Daniel the manatee is now fully grown, and the pride of the marine center near the Bay of Chetumal. Photo: Courtesy

Manatees are fortunate in that they have few natural predators and often live well into their 60s.

The animal sanctuary has now also opened a small museum and education center to help the local population learn more about manatees and other endemic aquatic animals of the region.

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