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Cancun specialists head to Tabasco to help with manatees

Cancun, Q.R. — Animal specialists from Cancun have joined in the efforts to try and save the Tabasco manatees that began dying more than three months ago.

Specialists from the Mexican Habitat Association for the Interaction and Protection of Marine Mammals (AMHMAR) from Quintana Roo have traveled to Tabasco where at least 28 lagoon manatees have died.

The team from Cancun has been helping evaluate the health of the young manatee pups. During the first hours of their visit the AMHMAR veterinary team helped with medical and nutritional support to two orphaned manatee pups that are being cared for with instructions from Profepa at the Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco University.

Orphaned pup. Photo: Profepa

So far, specialists have rescued three manatees while also helping with autopsies on the ones that died.

Roberto Sánchez, Vice President of Education and Animal Welfare at AMHMAR, said that the cause of death can be due to multiple factors since the deaths occurred in a livestock and agricultural area where various herbicides and other agrochemicals are used.

Photo: Profepa

The vet specialists say they will continue their work in Tabasco, helping with the rescue and relocation of manatees along the banks of the Bitzal River of the Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve.

In 74 days, 28 manatees have died in the lagoons of Tabasco. Federal officials with Environmental Protection (Profepa) have yet to identify the cause of the deaths despite the studies that have been made.

They expressed a large concern for the remaining 50 manatees that live in the lagoon system.