We are pleased to report our involvement in and partnership with the Veracruz Aquarium and its Conservation Program for the Antillean manatee. The Veracruz Aquarium (VAq) has been open to the public for more than 25 years. Located in the port of Veracruz in the State of Veracruz, it is a very popular tourist attraction in Mexico. In 2000, they received two orphaned manatees from the Alvarado lagoon. Although not part of their collection plan, the staff provided excellent care for the animals. They soon outgrew their tank and were moved to a bigger fish tank. Surprisingly they gave birth to a baby manatee, followed by a second baby two years later. This breeding success and the popularity of the manatees brought in many visitors, and resulted in the VAq designing an expansion just for the manatees that is called “El Manatiario”. The breeding founder manatees were genetically sampled and the results suggested they could be siblings. When the results came, they sent the male to a facility in Quintana Roo state, and in return, they received a male with completely new genes to the population at the aquarium. The VAq currently has seven manatees in their facility and the two first females born there were moved to a zoo in Palenque, Chiapas. The VAq is a vanguard aquarium in Mexico and proof of this is all the research they have done with the medical evaluation of their manatees, interesting information that is coming out about the reproductive cycle in the females, breeding maturity, gestation and birth. This aquarium is one of the most important in Mexico and receives almost a million visitors each year. The VAq was recently accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), being the third Mexican facility member of AZA.
Updates on two of our conservation projects remind us that these programs are of importance. The progress of the newest rescued manatee at the Amazon Rescue Center in Iquitos was sent by the center staff in the article “Pacaya” – An Amazon Manatee Floating Adrift. Dr. Alexander Blanco, wildlife veterinarian with the Project Harpy Eagle Conservation in Venezuela, wrote that “Golofi” had been successfully released back into its natural habitat, a written summary of the unprecedented activity in Venezuela will follow and “thanks for your help and unconditional support dear friends.”
We recently coordinated and participated in the Morelet’s Crocodile Course in Tabasco, Mexico. Conservation programs are responsible for the recovery of this species since international restrictions in the 1970s for hunting and illegal poaching.
At the entry for regular admissions, you may encounter Swimming Lessons for Kiah and Bindi, two of our newest Little Blue penguins. They will soon become part of the adult colony. Inside the entrance, by their exhibit, we now have a new penguin statue and available information about this species.
Sustainability is discussed in two articles: October is National Seafood Month – Celebrate Sustainability and Striving for Sustainability. Not only are sustainable examples that are practiced at the DWA discussed, but useful suggestions for individuals are provided, with websites that are available and quite helpful.
The Book of the Month is one of our new, very popular books. The book is written by Sheri Fink, an award winning author, and illustrated by Mary Erikson Washam, who lives in Dallas. The lead character overcomes his shyness by deciding to give a gift to someone important in his life but must ask for help with his project – demonstrating teamwork at its best!
Another busy summer is over and we are preparing for the upcoming holiday season. October and November are excellent months to visit the DWA, prior to the holidays and numerous school groups. Do not forget that our opening time is 10:00 a.m., now until March 1.
Thank you for your continued support of the DWA.