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Churaumi Aquarium manatee baby named Yuma

Date Posted: 2003-11-29

Churaumi Aquarium in Motobu Memorial Park is one of the largest in the world. It is also one of the very few in the world that has managed to have a baby manatee born in captivity. The happy event actually took place about two years ago when the American manatee mother, Maya, produced a healthy manatee baby with father manatee, Yukatan. Both parents were originally captured in Mexico before they were brought to their new home in Okinawa.

After the baby was born, the question of what to name it naturally arose. The management at the Aquarium finally decided to ask for help from the public and organized a vote among visitors to the facility.

A total of 5,247 people sent their suggestion by postcard, and the baby was finally named Yuma in a ceremony Monday. Yuma comes from the first syllables of the names of its parents, and 137 people had sent the same suggestion.

Yuma also got an official godfather from among those 137 persons. Kenichi Tamura from Ibaraki Prefecture was selected by raffle at the ceremony and will get a certificate officially naming him with the honor. Meanwhile, Yuma didnít seem to get overly excited about the event, concentrating on munching on seaweed instead. And baby Yuma has grown indeed, being currently 193 cm long and weighing 220 kg.

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