Investigation into Mistreatment of a Manatee in Chetumal after controversial viral footage

Photo: SIPSE

April 6th – The Federal Attorney’s Office for Environmental Protection announced the initiation of investigations against those responsible for the possible affectation of the manatee ‘Daniel’, in addition to restricting the interaction of people with this protected species.

This was announced by the agency’s delegate Alonso Fernández Lemmen Meyer, who indicated that these investigations began as a result of the images that went viral a few days ago, in which swimmers appear carrying the manatee, in addition to allegedly offering it alcoholic beverages.

The federal official explained that although it is well known that the local inhabitants support the care of the marine mammal since it was rescued several years ago, when it was orphaned,

Also the inhabitants of the community of Raudales where the “Santuario del Manatí” is located are well aware that by law it is forbidden to interact in this way with the animal.

“Being raised as a captive animal Daniel is used to get close to humans. However this is not recommended as it affects his integrity.”

stated Lemmen Meyer.

He pointed out that handling manatees is harmful for them because they can contract diseases, so they must take the pertinent measures and reinforce them with awareness campaigns.

He detailed that they will start the corresponding investigations to determine sanctions to those who have allowed the interaction of people with Daniel. This includes those in charge of the Sanctuary and their collaborators.

The sanctuary could also include economic sanctions against the bathers who handled the specimen, since there are signs posted throughout the sanctuary warning that such behavior is prohibited, since they are protected by NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, which determines the specifications for the protection of endangered, threatened, rare, and specially protected species and subspecies of wild terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna.

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