Baby manatee debuts Oct. 15 at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Photos courtesy of 国営沖縄記念公園 (海洋博公園) : 沖縄美ら海水族館 Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park (Ocean Expo Park) / Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium”
Photos courtesy of 国営沖縄記念公園 (海洋博公園) : 沖縄美ら海水族館 Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park (Ocean Expo Park) / Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium”

Baby manatee debuts Oct. 15 at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

A baby manatee is a new feature attraction at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Starting Oct. 15, visitors can get a close-up look at the youngster at the aquarium’s Manatee Pool.

The baby manatee was born to a couple of West Indian manatees (a.k.a. North American manatee) on June 16.

The West Indian manatee is a rare kind and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This has been the third successful delivery of a West Indian manatee in Japan, according to the Okinawa Churashima Foundation, which runs the aquarium.

The foundation said the manatee started being fed by humans three weeks after its birth because the mother ran low on milk. Now, it is growing steadily, eating vegetables, which is its staple food.

For the sake of their health, the manatees can only be seen from a ground-level floor. Visitors are expected to be quiet and refrain from using a flash when taking photos.

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