Manatees are one of the world’s rarest creatures.
Due to their threatened status, captive breeding in zoos plays an important role in manatee conservation. These docile giants live in only 19 zoological gardens in the world, including 10 in Europe.
Each calf born is treasured, for each manatee birth is a celebrated stepping-stone to the survival of the species.
We have been preparing for the new arrival since November last year, when it was confirmed that Ling was expecting. We’ve consulted with other zoos regarding caring for newborn calves. A special pen has been put in the manatee pool. We’ve stocked up on special milk formula, nipples and bottles in case the mom couldn’t nurse the baby. So everything was ready that Saturday morning, March 3rd, when Ling began laboring.
The baby came to the world at 10:41 A.M. and we have it on video! Not only was the calf healthy, but it turned out to be a girl - yet another reason for celebration, because there are fewer females than males in the European population of manatees.
According to the keepers, right after birth the baby girl measured about 115 cm, and weighed about 20 kg. She is the first manatee born in Wroclaw, so her caretakers gave her a fitting name- LAVIA- from the word Vratislavia.