Many times when we report on manatees it is because a dead one has washed ashore, but fortunately that was not the case on Saturday evening when a male manatee calf was found in the Lake Independence area. Residents called Sea to Shore Alliance rep. Jamal Galvez and he and his team went out to rescue the calf. Galvez told us more this morning.
Jamal Galvez, Sea to Shore Alliance "So we went down there and saw the young calf unfortunately thrashing around in a lot of garbage that is another issue to pick up on another day and we looked in the area to see if there are any other manatees in the area to ensure we are not taking a calf away from his mother, after doing so and realizing that there is no other manatee there we sprang into action to rescue the young male, quickly loading it up on our rescue truck where it was kept wet with water, a towel was put over it to keep it warm, it was very dehydrated but you can see from the video from the lobes in the stomach, manatees are not normally lobby, they are generally very filled out so we administered some Pedialyte to it to try to get some fluid in it so the animal can be strong enough for the transportation to Sarteneja where the rehabilitation center is. I must say the animal seems to be okay."
"He is settled in now, this week is critical to determine the survival and I am very encouraged by the capable folks at Wildtracks that this animal will make a full recovery and like I said I applaud the community members for their efforts and initiative, conservation is not conservation if we don't include community as well."
Galvez is working on a toll free number for residents to call in these incidents immediately. Again, residents are advised to not trouble these animals especially an adult manatee and her calf.
And for all his work in raising awareness about the protection of manatees, today Galvez received a Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary Belize.