Rescued baby manatee adorably plays with a hula hoop

This adorable baby manatee was found beached when he was just a little baby and had to be rescued and cared for at a marine mammal rehabilitation center, and hopefully, will soon be released back into the ocean.

Animals in captivity need neural and physical stimulation in order to reduce stress and enhance their well-being; it's called environmental enrichment. That is exactly what this hula hoop does. Manatees are very curious animals, so of course, it wants to investigate and play with the hula hoop, in his own way, of course.

It gets bottle-fed five times a day, with a special formula containing the fat and nutrients they need.

The West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) is the largest species of Sirenians alive. The Sirenia order also includes the Amazonian Manatee (Trichechus inunguis) and the African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis).

The West Indian Manatee is currently divided into two subspecies, the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and the Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus), although recent data indicates three separate lineages: one in Florida and the Greater Antilles; another in Western and Southern Gulf of Mexico, Central America, and Northwestern South America, West of the Lesser Antilles; and the third one on Northeastern South America, East of the Lesser Antilles. Evidence indicates that there might be hybridization with the Amazonian Manatee, in some areas near the mouth of the Amazon.

In 2017 the West Indian Manatee’s status has been downgraded from endangered to threatened, but it's essential to have stronger emphasis on preserving and restoring warm water habitats, and increase the reports of manatee boat strikes, in order to sustain this progress.