meet the CRMM

The new Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center is a referenced center for the rehabilitation of manatees in South America.


The CRMM is composed of seven enclosures. The pools are supplied with treated salt water and all the effluents are treated in an effluent treatment plant and reused.

The CRMM is composed of seven enclosures: two pools destinated to quarantine, three for the initial rehabilitation phase, and two for the final phase, besides one pool destinated to isolation and handling.

The CRMM was built in accordance with modern environmental concepts and ideas. The bricks used in its structure are made of soil cement, a material with a reduced ecological footprint; there is equipment for rainwater harvesting, and the windows were planned to maximize the potential of natural sunlight and ventilation.

When the manatee calves arrive at the CRMM, they are moved to quarantine for a short time in smaller, shallower pools, where will be easier for them to come to surface and breathe.

All the tanks in the CRMM are covered with a UV protection screen that is suspended at a high of at least 3 meters (9,8 feet). This structure guarantees that the animal will be protected from heat while receiving sunlight.

In order to reduce contamination risks, the prepatarion of the milk to the calves is executed in an exclusive kitchen.

The Examination Room is where we handle small and young calves, and perform exams and small procedures.

The Laboratory is where we prepare and store blood samples, study parasites found in the calves and other mammals and perform studies regarding the natural history of mammals that strand in the coast of Ceará.

In the Vegetables Kitchen, the solid items that are offered to the calves, like algae, fruits, grass and lettuce, are washed and weighted

All the enclosures in the CRMM have independent filtration and disinfection systems (ozone and chlorine).

Our Patients

Alva is our oldest patient. Was rescued by our partners from the Projeto Cetáceos da Costa Branca (PCCB/UERN) and brought to CRMM. She is pretty curious and active girl. At her age, Alva has stopped drinking milk and has been feed only with vegetables, because soon she will be ready to go back to nature. She loves grass and lettuce, even though she maybe miss the time when she was feed with milk.

Maceió was the second manatee to arrive at our center and, for a long time, was the only companion of Alva. He has always had a sweet tooth! Like Alva, he is being feed exclusively with vegetables, but he always tries to “steal” the bottles of his younger fellows. Our handlers must be alert all the time around Maceió when handling bottles.

The two calves stranded together, an unusual fact that made us think about the possibility of them being twin siblings, a rare phenomenon in manatees. Further genetic analysis confirmed that they are, in fact, twins! They are always seen feeding, swimming, breathing and playing together. They even try to “protect” each other when our team performs a handling exam.

The CRMM team considers Mirim to be a surprising case. The calf was alone for a long time, drifting near the coast before finally strand. He arrived at the CRMM suffering from 3rd-degree sunburns on his back and extremely undernourished. Even though his chances of survival were pretty scarce, he did it and now he is the plumpest calf in the CRMM! Mirin is always around Tico and Teco and is very curious.

Pintada stranded in the coast of Rio Grande do Norte and was brought to the CRMM by the PCCB/UERN. She certainly is the most loved manatee among the other calves: some of them like to breastfeed on her, even though no milk is released. Pintada has a noticeable differentiation mark: an anomaly in her spine causes her tail to be deviated to the right side, an which that does not prevent her to do her activities with the other calves.

Maní arrived at the CRMM with some nasty scratches due to a dog attack at the stranding side. Fortunately, our local partners  found her and gave first aid. Maní is pretty and smart and loves to be around Pintada.

Even though Mirim is curious, none of the calves can beat Chiquinho when the subject is curiosity. This little calf stranded in the coast of Rio Grande do Norte and was brought to us by the PCCB/UERN team. He is always hungry and is the first to arrive when someone goes near his pool.

Estevão arrived in July, 2016 and has already captivated everyone in the CRMM. He has a pretty interesting habit: he likes to rest upside down at the bottom of the pool. Besides that, he loves to chew and play with lettuce, but he still does not eat it. All he really wants is a bottle of milk!

Why the CRMM was created

The east coast of Ceará and the Northwest litoral of Rio Grande do Norte has registered a national record number of stranded manatees. At the time, all of the stranded animals were sent to the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas, where they were rehabilitated and released to nature, pretty far from their place of birth. The CRMM was idealized to promote the local rehabilitation and release, as an strategy to preserve the manatee population in this region.

Visit us

The rehabilitation area at CRMM is not open to the public. However, we have a visitor center that provides information regarding our work and also skeletons and replicas that can be visited between tuesday to monday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.
Contact us


(85) 3113-2137 / (85) 99800-0109