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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Officials find Moisés the manatee in good health after propeller accident

Moisés the manatee

By The Star Staff

Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) Secretary Anaís Rodríguez Vega confirmed Monday that the manatee Moisés, injured by a boat propeller, was found in good condition.

The DNER secretary’s remarks came after an evaluation by technical personnel from the agency’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program. The manatee became famous when he was found as a newborn in the 1990s in a stream under a bridge in Levittown. The Red Caribeña de Varamientos (Caribbean Stranding Network) then raised him.

“We have found and evaluated Moisés. His condition is encouraging, with the wounds healing positively,” Rodríguez Vega said. “Moisés is in excellent health, swimming vigorously, with good buoyancy and impressive muscle mass. Its current size reflects notable growth.”

“For now, everything indicates that the wounds are healing and that there are no other conditions of concern,” she added.

The program, managed by biologists Nilda Jiménez and Grisel Rodríguez Ferrer, noted the importance of preserving and protecting manatees as fundamental members of the marine ecosystem.

“At the DNER we will continue working to guarantee the conservation of these species for the benefit of our marine biodiversity,” Rodríguez Vega said.

Meanwhile, the biologists noted that the study of the mammal was carried out following the protocol for cases of injured but free-swimming manatees. The analysis included behavior, movement, swimming, buoyancy, build, breathing rate, stool color, wound healing progress, agility, and whether there are shocks, sounds, or breathing problems.

“Moisés has become very attached to people and boats. We know that because of this, sometimes when he is clinging to a boat when people already want to leave, he tries to stay with the boat and that may be what caused his injuries. He has many scars,” Jiménez said. “I urge boaters that if they find themselves in this situation, be patient and ensure the well-being of Moisés and any other manatee. Also, I invite boat operators to exercise caution and to give these species space when sailing in the coastal area in order to protect them.”

Specialized personnel will continue to periodically monitor Moisés to ensure that its wounds continue to heal without problems and that the animal does not experience any complications.

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