The Costa Rican government recently announced the manatee will be made a national symbol and declared the national marine animal. Manatees are adorable but this is pretty confusing for a few reasons.
The first thing is – doesn’t Costa Rica know the internet loves sloths? BuzzFeed is even in the midst of celebrating Slothsgiving this week. Sloths are so hot right now! If anyone is having their 15 minutes of fame it’s sloths. Second thing is – Costa Rica is the country sloths are most commonly associated with living in. So I don’t know… Sloths are so cute. And so slow. And they eat green beans. And they’re nature’s muppets! If anyone deserves to be made a national symbol I kinda feel like sloths would have that shit on lock down.
Real talk: The whole reason a campaign to make manatees the national symbol of Costa Rica started was because a couple of school kids learned about them in class. After learning there are less than 20 living in Tortuguero, Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean village, the school children campaigned to have their government put more effort in raising awareness about the sea cows. Despite originally thinking sloths are cooler, I can totally get down on some inspiring conservation efforts by a couple of awesome kids.
According to Tico Times lawmakers have been trying to make manatees happen for three years now and the bill proposing them as the national symbol passed a first round of legislative debate on Monday.
Tortuguero remains the only region of the country with a confirmed manatee population, and even there, scientists believe there are fewer than 20 living in the area’s canals.