On April 24, France’s ZooParc de Beauval welcomed a male Manatee who weighed 55 pounds at birth! The not-so-little baby will spend the next two years living with his mother, Femore, in the zoo’s tropical exhibit.
Manatees are the world’s only herbivorous aquatic mammals. At the zoo, the Manatees collectively eat more than 500 pounds of vegetables each day. Their favorites? Lettuce and potatoes. In the wild, Manatees feed on underwater grasses. They live only in warm coastal waters and inland marshes.
All three species of Manatees (South American, West Indian, and West Africa) are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. People are the main threat to Manatees, through collisions with boat propellers, toxic algae blooms, pollution, and entanglement in fishing gear.
The birth of this Manatee calf is important to the European Breeding Program.
See more photos below.