By Benjamin Flowers: A nursing Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) was killed this week due to a collision with a boat, and now researchers from Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute are desperately trying to find its orphaned calf.
Clear Water issued a press release on Tuesday, noting that the carcass of the 10.5-foot manatee was recovered along the Marine Parade in Belize City. The institute noted that the carcass had large open propeller wounds to the head and upper right shoulder penetrating the ribs, and a fractured skull – which suggests that it had collided with a large boat. Further analysis of the body revealed that it was nursing, but researchers could not find its calf, despite conducting searches.
“We urge the public, specifically boaters to be on the lookout for a lone manatee calf between the area of Marine Parade and the Drown Cayes. Please report any sightings of a lone calf in this area to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute,” the release said.
The institute also reminded the public to exercise caution when boating in shallow areas and immediately report any collision with manatees or other marine animals to either the Belize Fisheries Department at 224-4552 or the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute at 615-3838.