Newborn manatee takes first swim at Dutch zoo

This newborn manatee is taking its first swim

LOCATION: Arnhem, Netherlands

Royal Burgers' Zoo welcomed the calf on December 30

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROYAL BURGERS' ZOO SPOKESMAN, BAS LUKKENAAR, SAYING:"The birth went very smoothly this morning. The mother is experienced. She already had another calf and this is her second calf. The calf appears quite large at birth. It also appears very healthy because it almost immediately surfaced in order to breathe. And it almost started immediately to search for mother's mammaries in order to drink milk."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROYAL BURGERS' ZOO SPOKESMAN, BAS LUKKENAAR, SAYING:"In nature, normally, the father doesn't play a role in raising the calf. But they are really friendly animals. There is no aggressiveness in them."

The manatee is a marine mammal native to the Caribbean

They are considered a vulnerable species

SOURCE: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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