A group of skilled fishermen recently undertook a courageous act by rescuing a magnificent manatee that had fallen victim to a brutal shark attack.
While out at sea, the observant fishing crew noticed a young marine mammal struggling in distress. It became apparent that the creature had suffered significant injuries as a result of a predator’s bite.
Biologist Julieth Prieto, upon examining the wounds on the North American manatee, estimated that it had been attacked by a formidable seven-foot tiger shark.
Found in the Caribbean waters off the Tayrona National Natural Park in northern Colombia, the wounded animal was not only grappling with its injuries but also dealing with being underweight and dehydrated.
In light of its precarious state, the manatee was entrusted to the capable hands of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Magdalena, the regional authority responsible for such matters.
At present, the manatee will be provided with a safe haven at the organization’s marine rescue centre until it regains its strength and is deemed fit for a return to its natural habitat.
Regarding this development, the biologist commented, “This is a young specimen that relies on a diet of plants. We remain hopeful that it will swiftly recover from its wounds and attain a healthy weight. However, special care and attention are essential to ensure its optimal growth.”
She further expressed gratitude towards the National Navy and Santa Marta Coast Guard for their invaluable assistance in rescuing the distressed manatee.
The North American manatee, also recognized as the West Indian manatee, is a majestic marine mammal native to the warm coastal regions of the Caribbean. It has earned the nickname of “gentle giant” due to its docile nature and plays a pivotal role in maintaining the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems worldwide.
These gentle creatures rely on their exquisitely sensitive whiskers to navigate through shallow coastal areas, primarily subsisting on algae and submerged vegetation. Additionally, manatees employ distinct vocal patterns as a means of communication with their counterparts.
Typically measuring between 9 and 11.5 feet in length and weighing anywhere from 440 to 1,320 lbs, the average North American manatee tends to be larger in size for females compared to males.
As these remarkable beings evolved in environments devoid of natural predators, they exhibit a lack of instinctual predator avoidance behaviors.