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Trichechus manatus

The manatee is the only aquatic plant-eating mammal. It eats 6-8 hours every day. When it is really hungry, it can eat up to 10% of its own weight.

The manatee can weigh up to 900 kg but is surprisingly agile. In the water, it can roll, somersault and swim on its back. Manatees do not form permanent social bonds, except between a mother and her calf who are together for two years.

In 2003, one of the females at Odense ZOO gave birth to the first manatee baby ever in Scandinavia. Since then, Odense ZOO has generally been very successful when it comes to breeding manatees compared to other zoos.

Aquatic plants
South America
Life expectancy
Up to 50 years in captivity
200-900 depending on if they stay in the rivers or migrates to the ocean
Gestation period
12-13 month
IUCN status
Vulnerable (VU)