Single seahorse dad mourns loss of wife

A single father of two is having to come to terms with the fact that there will be no more romance in his life after he and his partner were separated earlier.

The gent in question, a Knysna seahorse, was removed from the Garden Route town's lagoon earlier this year by a concerned member of the public who found him floating, exhausted and barely able to swim.

The seahorse was taken to a National Parks (SANParks) aquarium, where he recovered well and where, less than a month later, he gave birth to a brood of babies.

Male seahorses have incubation pouches and give birth.

Two of the seahorse's brood flourished and are nearly fully grown - but, says Francois Joubert of Garden Route Aquariums, it's likely the small steed will not have any more young.

That's because seahorses mate for life, and the seahorse's female partner was left behind in the lagoon.

"In this light, we ask that people not make too hasty a judgement if they come across creatures who appear to be struggling in the wild," Joubert said.

"Our actions, although well intentioned, may have drastic negative implications in the long run. If any animal clearly is in trouble the appropriate authorities should be consulted before intervening."

The Knysna seahorse, or Hippocampus capensis, is one of 30 species of seahorses found worldwide, Joubert said.

This seahorse is endemic to the Knysna region and can only be found from Keurbooms River in Plettenberg Bay throughout the Knysna lagoon and up to Swartvlei in Sedgefield.

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