Manatees, also known as sea cows, are some of the most docile sea creatures. In fact their diet consists mainly of plant species but unfortunately, the manatee is under threat. A Vista Del Mar resident contacted the Coastal Zone Management Institute and Authority to inform them about a baby manatee that was hit by a boat. According to Jamal Galves, a manatee researcher, the marine mammal is endangered by boaters.
Jamal Galves, Manatee Researcher, CZMAI &Sea 2 Shore Alliance
“Upon my arrival, I realized it was a baby manatee about five to six months old with apparent cut wounds to the dorsal side of its body. After finish carrying out the autopsy, it showed that the cut wounds wasn’t the cause of the death, but the hit that it got from the boat fractured and broke its large ribs and both ribs pierced organs such as lungs and other vital organs that caused the animal to have died.”
“What is this saying about the boaters in the area?”
“I think they need to be more cautious in the areas such as these small canals. These animals, they are not very fast and they cannot get away from the boats. Especially the young ones, they are not knowledgeable to do that—they haven’t acquired those kind of learning at such young age—how to get away from a boat as the older ones does. I think that people need to be more careful and try to address the situation because it is getting out of hand. For Belize to be the country that has the population of this said species, for these kinda news to be coming out is not the best thing for our country.”
“And the water right off our coast is that native waters for the manatees?”
“Yeah, they are all over. Anywhere is Belize you can spot a manatee. They are all over our waters and this is their home as well. While I understand as human beings, we have our likes and needs, at the same time we want to be more cautious.”