On April 10, 2020, an Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) that was recently released into its natural habitat by Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja Village, Corozal was found with a spear injury to its head. It is believed that the manatee was injured anytime between April 9th to 10th.
The injured manatee is an eight-foot sub-adult female named Khaleesi and lives in the northern end of the Shipstern Lagoon. An examination of the spear injury shows that it was caused by a spear commonly used by local fishers. The injured manatee is currently undergoing treatment and is recovering at the Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center.
The Fisheries Department believes that the manatee was intentionally harmed and, therefore, categorically denounces this heinous act against this gentle and harmless mammal. The Department is actively investigating this incident to identify and bring charges to the perpetrators.
The public is reminded that the Antillean manatee is a critically endangered species and is fully protected under Section 88 of the Fisheries Resources Act No. 7 of 2020. Any person found in contravention of the law will be charged and prosecuted in a court of law.
The Fisheries Department advises the public to report any incidents involving manatees by calling telephone number +501 224-4552 or by emailing email@example.com.