18/04/2008Manatees Romeo & Juliet are parents again!

After 12 months of gestation, in Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, Juliet the manatee gave birth for the second time. The beautiful and healthy calf was born on March 19, at 6.30 am, with 36 lb weight.

Eight months ago, during the care procedures given by the veterinarians to the manatee family in Puerto Aventuras, they detected through an ultrasound, that Juliet was pregnant. This is the second calf of Romeo & Juliet, and the fourth that is born in Mexico under the human care.

The reproduction of manatees under the man protection is very important, as it is an endangered species. It is estimated that no more than 180 individuals are the total manatee population in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, a bad situation due to a low rate of conception and worst conditions created by man, developing and invading their natural habitat.

Manatees use to have slow movements due to their size and weigh and spend the most of the time floating in the surface of the water, so they can be easily crashed by speed boats which helices produce deep and mortal injuries, and the direct hit can kill them instantly. The increasing in the transit of boats makes them moving to places that the most of the time do not have good conditions for them to survive.

Manatees also die because some fishermen still catch them illegally to consume or sell their meat or when a fishnet traps them under the water making them drown. They also can eat by mistake plastic, garbage and other human articles floating in the water. But mainly the human destruction of their habitat is a factor that represents the bigger risk for the manatee population.

Now at Puerto Aventuras, Mother Manatee nurses its Brand New Baby around 20-25 times a day and they are strictly supervised 24 hours by the professional team of Dolphin Discovery veterinarians and trainers. The born of this calf is the successful result of the Dolphin Discovery Program of Reproduction, which is our contribution as a Socially Responsible Enterprise to the protection of these big and tender marine mammals.