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manatee photo

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The Manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is Amazonia's largest mammal, weighing over 1000 pounds. It is entirely aquatic, feeding only on plants such as water hyacinth and water lettuce. It is a powerful swimmer and propels itself by moving its tail up and down. The Amazonian manatee is becoming very rare. It is officially an endangered species. Mostly this is due to over-hunting, as the meat is highly prized by hunters, and it fetches a good price at market. Hence most specimens visitors see are in captivity. This one is a juvenile, being kept in a small tank at a zoo in Leticia, Colombia.

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