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00:00:01
>> Dead manatees, dozens of them, are washing up in the swampy, wetlands of southern Mexico. Since May, at least 28 West Indian manatees and other marine life have been found dead in the rivers and lagoons of Tabasco. Local fishermen say the water is polluted, they say its not only killing the animals, it's also forced them to stop working.
00:00:22
Martin Morales says he can't even get in the water.>> Before we could swim we could, we could bathe peacefully without fear of getting something or feeling itchy. Now you have to shower or else you won't be able to sleep because of all the itching.>> The fisherman and others are pointing the finger at Mexico state oil company, Pemex, which has been operating oil wells nearby for decades.
00:00:42
But the company says tests show no contamination in the area. Government officials say their own tests confirmed those findings. Although Ernesto Zazueta of the Zoos and Aquariums Association says the opposite is true.>> I can't confirm that it's Pemex's fault, but what we can confirm is that there are heavy metals in the waters.
00:01:03
Around 500 manatees are believed to live in Tabasco's waterways. Wildlife authorities plan to capture about 30 of them, each of which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, and transfer them to a nearby nature reserve where it's hoped that they'll thrive undisturbed. Although it won't help the fishermen who say the larger problem still needs to be addressed.