Baby manatee seeks refuge on Cucumber Beach but passes away

Manatees are under threat by the traffic of boats along Belizeís coastline. The mammals live mostly in rivers but their bodies have been washing up on beaches regularly in the past few months. Earlier today, a baby manatee about two and half to two months old found its way onto the Cucumber Beach at Old Belize on the Western Highway. It was still alive but barely breathing, unfortunately by the time the Coastal Zone Management Authority personnel arrived, it had passed away. One researcher says that it is the carelessness of boaters that is causing the deaths of these animals.

Jamal Galves, Manatee Researcher, CZMAI &Sea 2 Shore Alliance

ďWe came here and apparently we were a couple minutes late and it died. It had chops wounds to the flipper, which means it may have prevented it from being able to stay above the water and it may have drowned. Thatís what I am estimating; I havenít did the necropsy as yet. But from the apparent chop wound, I could see that that is it. Old Belize is known as a refuge area for these animals. You often have calves come in here injured trying to get help or some assistance. The chop wound seems to have not been that recent but it could have been adding up for a while. The animal may have been struggling for a long time. Its stomach is so over lapsed that it shows that itís dehydrated, probably havenít eaten in days, probably have been separated from its mother, probably havenít been cared for in a long time, so Iím surprised the animal help up that long. But we are a little bit late. We lost this one. Weíre going to transfer it t a rehabilitation center in Sartenejah, thatís where we have two other animals that have been injured just like this one in rehabilitation and theyíre doing quite fine. Hopefully, in a matter of two weeks or so it would have been up and going without wonderful staff there at Wild tracks.Ē

Galves said that on Tuesday, they also recovered the body of a manatee that had the customary cuts associated with boat engine propellers.
Live and let live