A Bun in the Oven! Manatee Rescued Off Falmouth is Pregnant

PHOTO COURTESY: Photo taken of manatee in Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port as posted on former Harwich Harbormaster Tom Leach's Facebook page

PHOTO COURTESY: Photo taken of manatee in Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port earlier this month as posted on former Harwich Harbormaster Tom Leach’s Facebook page. The Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut announced Tuesday that the manatee is pregnant

MYSTIC, Conn. – It appears the manatee rescued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare last week was carrying a little bundle of joy.

During a routine medical exam Tuesday at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, it was discovered the 800 pound manatee, now named “Washburn,” was pregnant.

The marine mammal was rescued from area near Washburn Island last Friday and taken to Mystic for rehabilitation.

Manatees normally live in the warmer waters around Florida and the Gulf Coast and can’t survive for long in temperatures below 68 degrees.

COURTESY OF IFAW

COURTESY OF IFAW: Photo of manatee during a rescue operation off Falmouth

IFAW officials said water temperatures around Washburn dropped to uninhabitable 67 degrees in the days after the rescue.

“An ultrasound conducted by our veterinary team determined that the manatee is between four and five months pregnant,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President and CEO of Mystic Aquarium.

“This further elevates the importance of this effort and the care she is receiving by our world-class team of professionals. For all of us it provides a boost to the conservation efforts of this incredible but endangered species,” said Coan.

“We were really fortunate to find the manatee and rescue her before the water temperature dropped,” said Katie Moore IFAW’s Animal Rescue Program Director.

“Knowing that she is carrying a calf makes her survival even more important,” she said.

According to the Mystic Aquarium, the gestation period for a manatee is about one year.

“Washburn” will continue to be monitored until she is stable enough for transport to longer term rehabilitation in Florida before ultimately being released back to coastal waters.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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