The trip home to Juanida, Pepe and Lupita ended successfully on Sunday, removing the loop that protected them as they embraced, allowing these monkeys to fully reunite their habitats and navigate through the open sea after 8 and 2 places. Limited years in a pond of the National Fisheries, where they were rehabilitated.
This trap was removed in an emotional process due to the importance of Operation Scene at Home, which would allow the protection of Antilles manatees on the list of endangered species drawn up by the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species. Wild Flora (CITES), signed by the Dominican Republic.
The event was chaired by Minister Orlando George Mera, who was satisfied with the work done by the staff, who kept an eye on day-to-day Juanida, Pepe and Lupita, conducting medical assessments and daily monitoring.
“Manatees are very important because they graze on seagrass beds, consume large amounts of herbs and algae, support the nutritional cycle and contribute to the ecological balance in marine ecosystems. Through the process, the Dominican government demonstrates its commitment to the conservation of our biodiversity with actions, ”said George Mera.
4,150 meters from a pond to the sea
Initially, these Antilian montages of the genus Trichesus manatus were transferred by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to the 4,150-square-meter temple in Payahibe in December 2020, where they completed the process of adapting to their natural environment, mainly by feeding themselves. Exclusively with the sea tigers you see in the wild.
This was one of the main challenges they used to eat the spinach, carrots and other vegetables provided to them at the National Fish Pond.
This process was carried out under the coordination of the Deputy Ministry of Coastal and Marine Resources of the Ministry of Environment with the strict and systematic supervision of technicians from the Dominican Ocean Research Foundation (FUNDEMAR) and the National Fisheries Department.
A milestone for the country
The adaptation process of Juanida, Pepe and Lupita began in September last year, including several stages in the diet, maintenance, medical analysis, transfer to the sea, registration of behaviors, and other processes that allowed the Republic to become Dominican. On a scale of achievements of this type.
To this final stage, due to the cooperation of the German Embassy in the country and the advice of the Clearwater Marine Fisheries of the United States, some trackers were placed, which would allow them to track for a time in the open sea.
Sophisticated trackers made of biodegradable material were placed on the tails of the three mammals.
The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican people and tourists visiting this part of the island should cooperate in conserving these species, keep their distance, avoid feeding extra, and identify areas that have been slowly becoming manatee areas.
For the entire process of adaptation, sea transfer and final restoration, the Ministry of Environment has the support of the Reserve Bank, the Propagation Foundation, Santroni, Grubo Iniesia, Sur Puturo, Cervaseria National Dominicana, AM Resorts, Playa Grande. & Ocean Club, Mercasid, Brookle Foundation, Central Romana, Dolphin Explorer, Escuba Caribbean, Dressel Divers, Ego Petrolio and Slow Dive.
These collaborators were presented with two awards, beginning with President Louis Abinader, who was fully identified with the process.
Juanita was rescued in August 2012, at the age of three months, in Fohibe, where a fisherman sustained more than 10 injuries to various parts of his body. That same year Pepe was rescued near the banks of the Hyena River in San Cristobal, with dehydration and multiple injuries.
Six years later, in 2018, as Lupita was very young, he was saved by inflicting a very strong wound on his left side in the municipality of Luperon in the province of Puerto Plata. All three were rehabilitated in the National Fisheries.