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There is concern amongst marine conservationists after two manatee calves turned up dead a week apart on the same spot along the coast of 4 miles lagoon in the Corozal District. Loreta Randall and her husband spotted the dead mammals along the lagoon on separate Saturday afternoons. These incidents would normally get Manatee Man Jamal Galvez involved and leading an investigation, but he is not in the country therefore Oceana’s Field Representative in Corozal Ryan Rivera assisted. Today we found out what could have led to the mammal’s demise.

Screen_Shot_2019-06-18_at_8.08.50_PMLoreta Randall, discovered dead manatee

“In the late afternoon, my husband and I walked the dogs down here and let them run crazy and so we spotted the young one and I went upstairs immediately put it one Facebook asking who could help me. I know Wild-track but they can’t at four o’clock at night and to get over here and help move her and so luckily I got in hold of Ryan and he was able to come and by the time he got out here he did everything he was working in the dark and mosquitos it was pretty sad but I realized then that I have to be more aware with what’s happening with our lagoon and what’s happening with the manatees because this was a baby and then it broke my heart and then one week exactly it came down again and there was the other one.”

Ryan Rivera, Oceana Field Rep

“In the past week there has been two manatees, two dead manatees washing up onshore at this specific area in approximately one-week span which is to me alarming which is both two female calves. The first one we were able to do some kind of an informal necropsy with assistance of past lecturer of mine we notice that the fat layer of the manatee was below what it should be so speaking with my past lecturer and Jamal, the manatee man and also with advice from Wild-Tracks it basically starved to death so it was a calf that lost its mom and starved to death. The second manatee unfortunately was too advanced in the state of decomposition so it was very difficult to verify anything with it since all inside was decomposed but both manatee had no visible signs of trauma or any injuries. Manatees nurse from their moms couple years until they can start to go on their own so a manatee is separated from his mom won’t be able to survive since it basically sticks with its mom and jus nurses from its mom whenever they need to eat manatees cannot be able to defend on its own so they will starve. I suspect that some activity is happening on the lagoon that caused them separation from the mom and the calves and that led to the death of the young calf.”

As a result of the discoveries, there are efforts to form Manatee Watch groups in the area which would monitor the manatee population as well as vessel activity in the area. We understand that a vessel was spotted on the other side of the lagoon and that may have led to the separation of the calves from their mothers which led to their starvation. Rivera explained that a support system based in Corozal can assist in preventing further deaths.

Ryan Rivera, Oceana Field Rep

“What we are trying to do is that we are trying to laisse with the other organizations that are directly involved with the manatees, monitoring and rescuing. First to see what activities are happening in the lagoon and then enlightened people to se how they can assist because the orphan manatees are spotted in time they could have been assisted, however that was not the case but if the people could be more on the alert and whenever they see a manatee to try to find out if it is an adult or a young calf and if it’s a calf to seek assistance and to ask for help so that they can be assisted. Here in Corozal we have assisted we have Wild track being the rehabilitation center which they tend to respond to cases like that so they do laisse and for this I was in contact to assist and on what measure so that they can note to see what is the size of the manatee and what information needs to be recorded because it is very important to report and record information whenever a manatee is stranded.”

Loreta Randall, discovered dead manatee

“I contacted everybody like Wild Tack and the Eco Group and Jamal and Ryan and all the people who know things and I am going to work with everybody on the list that wants to participate that maybe they can take both notice if they see a manatee to watch and see to see how big it is, if it is with a group or by itself so we can create some kind of a record of what is happening here on the lagoon because the manatees are very important to us and I don’t want to loose them, we’ll communicate via email and probably create a Facebook group “Manatee Watch” and that way they can all report back you know, we can cat it and we can talk about it we can even get together and set around in the living room and really talk about what we have seen really going on and what we can do to help.”

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