Story of a survivor!


In November 1991, an orphaned baby manatee was rescued by the Carribean Stranding Network. Found in a canal on the North side of Puerto Rico, it is believed that the rough tide seperated this baby from it's mother. The baby manatee was wounded and scratched from debris in the canal and had ingested mud and a plastic bag. At first the baby rejected the bottles and had to be fed through a tube directly into the mammal's stomach. It was a long battle for the life of this little baby. But with the huge effort and dedication of a team that knew how to take care of this amazing animal, he began to recover and grow. It began to look like he was going to survive to be released back into the wild. He was named "Moises el Manati"!

To see full size picture, click on the thumbnails!


A year later, the extensive efforts were begun to reintroduce this captive-reared manatee into the ocean of his birth. There are five prerequisites to define a successful release:

  1. that the manatee is weaned from human interaction,

  2. that the animal constantly is able to find a source of fresh water for drinking,

  3. that the manatee finds natural sources of vegatation to feed,

  4. that the mantatee's health and weight are between normal ranges for his age,

  5. that the manatee exhibit normal behavior, swim well, and maintain normal buoyancy.

On March 22, 1994, Moises was transported to Rooosevelt Roads Naval Station where he was placed into a fenced natural pen for acclimatization prior to his release.....After five months he was released into the adjacent bay and monitored with a radio transmitter. He traveled to and utilized areas where manatees were known to feed. This was the first successful release of an orphaned captive-raised Antillean manatee to the marine environment in the Caribbean.

Volunteers work very hard to make sure that Moises learns to eat thallassia (sea grass) and learn to be on his own.


After a couple of years it was discovered that Moises had lost a lot of weight and had to begin to be fed again. He was still in the wild in his natural environment, but volunteers had to feed him everyday to get his weight back up and try to get him to begin to eat on his own again.

A small but happy Moises in his natural environment!

Health checkup!!!

Moises was hit by a boat in 1996. Although the cuts were not bad, it goes as a reminder to boaters....PLEASE be careful. When in a manatee area, use extreme caution.

Boat cuts.

Now, in July 1998, Moises is once again on his own. He has been seen several times in the company of other manatees. Feces samples show that he is eating thallassia again. He has grown very large and seems to be very healthy. Much thanks to all the volunteers that have put so much time and effort into his rehabilitation. I am sure that if he could, Moises would thank you too!!!

Moises now!!!!

Remora on Moises!

Moises with Friend!!!


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