Baby Antillean Manatee
Found in Puerto
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A dead baby manatee has been found floating at La Mela beach in Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The four-foot manatee was in an advanced state of decomposition, but had no external wounds that would point to a boat collision, a common cause of death for this endangered species.
A telephone call on May 2, alerted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boquerón Field Office. Service Biologists Felix Lopez, Maritza Vargas, and Carlos Pacheco immediately responded and recovered the carcass. A preliminary necropsy, conducted by the Service’s biologists and Nilda Jimenez, of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, was inconclusive. The cause of death is still unknown.
Only 100 to 200 manatees still exist in Puerto Rico. The loss of one manatee to other than natural causes represents a threat to the survival and recovery of the species. Manatees are often seen in Puerto Real. Users of jet-skies and other vessels are encouraged to slow down to reduce the possibility of impacts with manatees.
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