Happy birthday carrot cake of sorts for Singapore's Canola the manatee

SINGAPORE - Canola the manatee, hand-raised by her carers since she was abandoned by her mother at birth, celebrated her third birthday at Singapore's River Safari on Wednesday with a 2-metre (6.6-ft) high "cake" made of cabbages, carrots and sweet potato leaves.

The marine mammal enjoyed the crunchy treat shaped in a letter 'C' with other manatees at the river-themed attraction.

Kindergarten children who attended the celebrations sang "Happy Birthday" to the 300-kg (661-pound) herbivore and watched her receive belly rubs.

Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

After her mother, Eva, abandoned her at birth, Canola was hand-raised by keepers who bottle-fed her every two to three hours during the first three months of her life.

Canola was fed a special milk formula infused with canola oil, which gave her carers the inspiration for her name.

She is now ten times as heavy as when she was born.

Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Last year, Canola was named a park icon at the River Safari in the small city-state, becoming a wildlife ambassador to encourage the public to keep the world's freshwater habitats pristine.

Commonly known as sea cows due to their diet of sea grass, manatees are currently listed as a vulnerable species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

on SPH Brightcove

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