This morning conservationists were called out to the pier in Corozal Town to rescue a baby manatee. The calf, believed to be two to three days old, was spotted by a group of students who were working in the area. Immediately representatives of the Sarteneja Alliance For Conservation and Development Centre were called in and the rescue got underway. Reporter Victor Castillo was in Corozal Today and filed the following.
Victor Castillo- Reporting
This new born female Manatee was rescued from the strong waves that slammed against the Corozal sea wall around 9:00 this morning. The stranded calf was sighted near the Corozal pier by a group of students who were cleaning the area as part of their summer job.
Rafael Castillo- Councillor, Corozal
“This morning we were painting at the Rotary Park better known as the Animal Park and some kids were alerted to a floating object in the water and on closer inspection we realize it is a baby manatee and so we decided to go into the water and look at the situation and we realize that the animal was very fatigue.”
“When we finished work from Town Board we decided we will take a little swim and thing, then when we jumped in the water a little while the man call and ask we that he need a little help with the animal and thing and we had a hard time trying to catch the manatee because it was fast and thing.”
The Director of the Sarteneja Alliance For Conservation and Development Centre, Paul Walker and his crew arrived in the area at around 10:00 in the morning. Their mission was to rescue the calf which was immediately removed from her entrapment and carefully moved to the pier where a quick assessment proved that she as hurt from one of her fins.
But this young one was not traveling alone. As the group prepared to transport the new born to the rehabilitation centre in Sarteneja, her mother was sighted in the area.
Paul Walker- Director, Sarteneja Alliance For Conservation and Development Centre
“They already had it safe away from the wave action, we were trying to look at it to see any signs of the mother if the mother was there we can get the calf back with the mother being the best option. It was a manatee that did arrive, we almost certain it was the mother but unfortunately the wave action is such that they weren’t communicating adequately and so the best option is to save the calf and it should be raised up for three to three and a half years."
All attempts to reunite the young one with her mother proved futile since she was injured and unable to swim on her own. According to Walker, the calf is believed to be two to three days old since the umbilical cord was still attached to her body. The baby manatee was taken to the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development Centre where it will remain for the next three years. Thereafter it will be released into the wild.
The baby manatee weighs approximately 55 lbs and is roughly 2 ½ feet long. She is yet to be named. As for the mother of the calf she was left behind to survive in the wild.