Residents conduct autopsy on pregnant manatee

Posted By: Marty

Residents conduct autopsy on pregnant manatee - 03/30/11 03:21 PM

There is a tragic story about a manatee to report tonight. It follows several instances in which manatees have been hit by boat propellers. Some residents on the south side of the city found a manatee with a deep gash wound this morning. The manatee was pregnant but according to a local expert, it was too late to save its calf.

Jamal Galves, Manatee Associate, CZMAI and Sea 2 Shore Alliance

Jamal Galves

“Well about ten o’clock I got a call from one of my friends about a dead manatee in the Yarborough Area and I also got a call from Forestry. And the guy on the scene told me that the animal may be pregnant or may have a calf in the area. So I went and I canvassed the area and I didn’t see any visible calf, but I saw signs that the animal was actually pregnant –was dead. I went to the office to make some arrangements to get the animal removed from the area because the guy was concerned about the health hazards—in case the animal starts to smell and stuff. But when I came back the second time, I saw that they had already dissected the animal—some individuals from the area—they already dissected the animal and took the calf out. People were complaining to us about being late and not able to save the animal, but for me to have saved the animal I had to be there while the mother was still alive noh. And maybe take the calf from the animal. But the calf wasn’t even fully developed so if I had even cut it open, it wouldn’t have been able to safe because unlike human beings nine months, those animals take twelve months inside their mother’s wombs and it wasn’t fully developed to be born either. So regardless of the way the situation was handles…”

Jose Sanchez

“So you are saying once the mother was dead, there is nothing that you could have done?”

Jamal Galvez

“The minute the mother dies and the blood circulation stops, the fetus inside the animal will die as well. So there was nothing we could actually have done to that situation and if there were something we could have done, we would have more than be happy to address it.”

Jose Sanchez

“So even though the residents in the area clearly cut open the manatee and remove the dead calf, there is nothing they could have done either?”

Jamal Galvez

“There is nothing they could have done either. So nothing I could have done, they could have done. It is just a sad story and the hit that that mother had gotten was a very bad hit so I’d assume that the calf had gotten injured as a result of that hit as well.”

Channel 5

Posted By: Marty

Re: Residents conduct autopsy on pregnant manatee - 03/30/11 03:28 PM

Dead Manatee Washed Up In Yabra – Community Tries to Save Calf

Belize's endangered population of Antillean manatees took another hit this morning - as another manatee washed up on the coast flailing - the product of another propeller mauling.

But this one was an even greater loss, because the manatee was pregnant - and Monica Bodden went to witness what the community did to try in vain to save the calf - here's her story:…

Monica Bodden Reporting
This female adult manatee - weighing no less than 500 pounds - was found floating in the sea near the shore of this Yabra community.

She was first spotted by neighbors around 6 o'clock this morning.

Edwin Maheia - Resident
"In the morning I woke up and I saw the manatee out here. It looks like a boat hit it because we heard a noise this morning. "

The large propeller wounds on its back tell us that this female manatee was hit by a boat.

Edwin Maheia - Resident
"I tried to see if I could pull it out of the sea to see if it was alive but it was already dead".

Monica Bodden
"It was already dead at that time."

Edwin Maheia - Resident
"Yes, but I tried to take her out and try to do something about it because it looks like this female is pregnant. But she is dead."

Monica Bodden
"Why would you say that you think it's a female?"

Edwin Maheia - Resident
"Because milk was coming out of its breast and it was big and looked pregnant."

Concern Neighbor
"My neighbor and I came out here about 7 o'clock this morning and we saw the Manatee bleeding profusely from the back with two really large lacerations and its liver looks like it was hanging out. Shortly after that we tried to move the Manatee and we notice the Manatee was lactating."

"In concern for the calf, I kept calling and asking around to different agencies to see if somebody could help us and confirm that indeed the mother was pregnant."

The manatee was indeed carrying its young calf.

According to area residents, they tried contacting the Belize Coastal Zone Management all morning to assist with the situation.

And when they didn't show up - They say fearing for the safety of the young calf - with the proper authorization necessary - they began cutting the animal open at around 12:30 this afternoon.

Concern Neighbor
"Fearing for the safety of the potential calf, we call Mrs. Zoe Walker who is in Sarteneja and she gave us authorization to say go ahead open the animal and see if the baby is inside. If the baby is not inside then you know what organize a search party and try to rescue the young Manatee, so that was the thought behind our actions."

But the crude field surgery was unsuccessful because the baby manatee was already dead inside its mother.

Concern Neighbor
"When we first saw it the animal was moving very faintly, it was still partially alive - you can see it breathing really slowly and about half an hour later it you can see that it was dead - head under water, very stiff."

Jamal Galves - Manatee Research Associate - Coastal Zone Management
"About 10 o' clock my friend from Southern Environmental Association call me about it and her friend call me and told me about it and about the possibility that a calf may have been in the area, so I got there about 10:30, I scan the area and I didn't see a calf, I saw that the animal was pregnant and it was dead but I had to return to do my assessment. When I got there I see that someone had already dissected the animal. I investigate the animal to see if the animal was hit by a boat and that there was a calf inside the animal as well. So I took my measurements genetic samples and stuff like that."

And to be dissecting manatees is illegal - that is without the proper authorization.

Jamal Galves - Manatee Research Associate - Coastal Zone Management
"These are protected under the wild life protection act and so you have to have special permission in order to do such things and at no time someone should have a dead or alive Manatee in their possession at any time. So it's illegal for someone to do it without permission from the authorities."

Samples were taken by both animals that will be taken to the lab for proper testing. And then the carcass of the animals was lifted from off the beach and taken away by the Belize City Council to be properly disposed of.

There was a spike in human - related manatee deaths in Belize last year - with 17 reported through October 2010 compared to an average of11 per year.

Belize is home to the largest known breeding population of Manatees.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Residents conduct autopsy on pregnant manatee - 03/31/11 01:30 AM

Click for photos....
Posted By: BeBelize

Re: Residents conduct autopsy on pregnant manatee - 04/03/11 03:17 AM

So sad... frown frown
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