Cancun, Quintana Roo to January 20th, 2017. - On Monday, January 9, a group of researchers from the Manatee Conservation Center of the Universidad Interamericana in Puerto Rico arrived at the facilities of Grupo Dolphin Discovery in Cancun to carry out urine sampling in dolphins and manatees with the aim of contributing to science and establishing normal ranges never before established in these marine mammals.
The researchers' visit is due to an agreement between institutions to work together for the health of marine mammals. The group is made up of 6 students working for the Manatee Conservation Center in Puerto Rico, all led by Dr. Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni, an expert on tropical marine mammals and in danger of extinction.
Dr. Antonio Mignucci is an oceanographer specializing in the biology, management and conservation of marine mammals, founder of the international conservation organization, Red Caribeña de Varamientos and Director of the Manatee Conservation Center of the Universidad Interamericana in Puerto Rico. He holds a PhD in Biological Oceanography focused on aquatic animal health, as well as a postdoctoral degree in the Sirenia Project of the US Geological Survey in Florida. He is also author of books such as "El Manatí de Puerto Rico" and "Aunque viva en el agua", as well as more than 60 articles with an international reach.
"When we choose a research site, we have to choose the right one, one that provides great care for mammals. When choosing Dolphin Discovery, we did so with the awareness that these animals are being treated in a human way, in a form of animal welfare and that they have the safeguard to be well, mentally and physically speaking, "commented Dr. Antonio Mignucci, Director of the Center for Manatee Conservation at the Universidad Interamericana of Puerto Rico.
The investigations that are carried out are:
For the uranalysis to be carried out, a detailed analysis of the schedules and habits of Dolphins and Manatees during the last two months of 2016. This study was non-invasive and allowed Marine Mammal specialists to know the appropriate time to take the urine sample.
It is estimated that at least 90% of the total dolphins and manatees at Discovery Discovery be analyzed for a greater contribution to the research.
"Dolphin Discovery Group is hosting this research with the intention of contributing to science and conservation. We will always be open to working with serious and dedicated people who feel the same passion as we do for the care and welfare of Marine Mammals, "said Maria René Arreola, Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras Veterinarian.
It is important to mention that an investigation involving urine sampling would be very difficult to do in dolphins that are in the wild because it would imply a risk in the handling of the specimens, in addition, the medical procedure necessary to obtain the samples would be invasive.
For more than 20 years, Dolphin Discovery has contributed to the study and conservation of marine mammals, creating bonds of love and respect through the best interaction experience in unique habitats around the world. Millions of people have lived the Experience of a Life in the 24 parks and dolphinariums that currently make up the world of Dolphin Discovery, located in Mexico, Anguilla, Tortola, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Italy and Jamaica, Where about 250 mammals live under the care of their veterinarians and marine mammal specialists. For more information please visit: www.dolphindiscovery.org
The Manatee Conservation Center, led by the Caribbean Network of Strandings and the Universidad Interamericana of Puerto Rico, is dedicated to the conservation of manatees in danger of extinction through programs of rescue and response to stranding, rehabilitation and veterinary care, population research and community outreach in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. For more information please visit: http://manatipr.org/
Janaury 20th, 2017