Duisburg (dpa / lnw) - After a complex renovation, the Duisburg Zoo has been the only facility in North Rhine-Westphalia to show two growing manatees since Wednesday. Zoo director Astrid Stewin presented the three and five-year-old male cubs "Manfred" and "Pablo" in the zoo's tropical hall with water basin at a press conference. The team worked on the conversion for over a year, she said. Among other things, the filtration of the water for the animals had to be completely changed. The Duisburger Sparkasse supported the project with over 400,000 euros.
The leisurely swimming manatees are threatened in their homeland in Central America - not only by pollution and hunting, but also by pleasure boats, whose drivers often see the herbivores swimming just under the water surface too late and seriously injure them with the screws of the engines, as a zoo spokesman reported . The male pups consumed around eight boxes of lettuce together every day. They currently weigh 90 and 190 kilograms; fully grown it weighs about 900 kilograms.
The animals come from a zoo in Denmark. Possibly a female will be added to the two male animals later. The European Conservation Breeding Program (EEP) makes the decision. Within Germany, apart from Duisburg, there are only manatees in Nuremberg Zoo. "These are symbolic animals for species protection," said the Duisburg zoo spokesman.