A female manatee that was mating was killed over the weekend. It appears that a number of manatees are at the peak of their mating in the summer time and lately have been spotted in the river mouth area. But this area is heavily trafficked and boats present a real threat to the herd. Jamal Galves made a special call to ask boaters to be mindful and for passersby not to approach the mating herd.
Jamal Galves, Program Coordinator, Sea to Shore Alliance
“Particularly in heavily trafficked areas, like for instance the Belize River mouth area by the Haulover Bridge and the Belize River mouth area around the Lighthouse area; those are heavily trafficked area. We asked that boaters be alert and lookout for mating herds because manatees tend to not be conscious of their surroundings when they are mating and they basically disregard the public, disregard boats and that present a danger for them. It is not just Belize City, but Placencia area, the entire coastline; we ask people if there is a mating herd please do report it. It is important information for us. We ask people to stand back and observe from a distance; don’t try to touch; don’t try to approach a mating herd, it can be dangerous for them and for the animal itself.”
“Was there an incident in the last couple of days where a Manatee was found dead?”
“Yes. That is correct. We got numerous phone calls and text messages about a mating herd in the Oasis Bar area near the Belize River. I went out to observe it and I noticed it was a mating herd. The female had a huge chop wound in the back that may have occurred some 2-3 weeks ago, so relatively still fresh. And on Saturday I went back out to monitor the situation and they were still out there mating; mating herds can carry on for a week or two and numerous males sometimes twenty males chasing one female. The animal ended up dying and I think it was a result of exhaustion and both chop wounds definitely had something to do with the results of that. So, we are asking boaters in that area to please be aware and try not to impact these animals in any negative way.”