June 10, 2022
Are you familiar with manatees? West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are an endangered species. The National Aquarium of the Dominican Republic had housed three rescued specimens: Juana, who was found in Bayahibe, was three months old and had ten stab wounds on her body; Pepe, near the Río Haina, in the province of San Cristóbal, was dehydrated and exhibited various injuries; Lupita, found in Luperón, Puerto Plata, had a very deep wound. For years these 3 mammals have received care and attention.
In December 2020, the Ministry of the Environment coordinated a complex operation: moving them, transitioning them and aiding them to start to feed themselves without human help. Veterinarians, biologists and many technicians, including a cardiologist and a dermatologist, managed the transportation (with security protocol and anti-stress regulations in place) necessary for placement in a controlled environment. Upon arriving from the Aquarium in Santo Doming, they were submerged in the waters of Bayahibe; Veterinarians and technicians have monitored them 24 hours a day. Nothing like this had ever been done in the Dominican Republic.
The three large mammals were kept in a protected bay for six months and then released, after being equipped with a device to continue monitoring and protecting them. As it turns out, Lupita prefers Bayahibe and Saona Island! She is frequently spotted in these water