"Hercules the Manatee" visits San Pedro Schools

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 40            October 30, 2003

Features: Search Issues | Read Back Issues | Subscriptions | Merchandise Ordering Information

"Hercules the Manatee" hugs MRSK student

Representatives of Green Reef Environmental Institute visited island schools this week spreading the word that "Manatees matter to me!" the theme for their ongoing Manatee Conservation Awareness Campaign.

    Green Reef Environmental Educator Dilci Patt, Peace Corp Volunteer Kristen Stelljes, and volunteer Johan van der Tillaart better known as "Hercules the Manatee" are all working together to promote manatee protection. Ms. Patt and a variety of volunteers commenced their educational program in May of 2003 visiting pre-schools, elementary schools and other educational institutions in coastal areas of Belize. In Corozal, Ms. Patt was assisted by family members and friends, in Belize City by the Audubon Society, and in Stann Creek and Toledo by Kristen Stelljes. Last Friday, October 24th, The San Pedro Sun and the Green Reef team headed out to Maestro Reyes School of Knowledge to broaden the student's perspective on these beautiful creatures that live in the warm coastal waters of Belize.

    The manatee production was excellent, well-prepared, and very informative. Ms. Patt stated that many of the students already possessed a basic knowledge of the manatee, which assisted them in grasping the information they were receiving. The students were amazed and delighted by a surprise visit from "Hercules the Manatee". The class was educated on the lifestyle of the manatee, learning about the many different protected areas where manatees live in Belize such as: Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary and Swallow Cay Wildlife Sanctuary. Ms. Patt also spoke about the manatee reproduction rate, life span, weight at full growth and at birth. Most importantly, speaking about the dangers that are causing the manatee population to decrease so rapidly, she emphasized the following threats: entanglement in fishing nets, illegal hunting, destruction of habitat, and most prominently, boat traffic accidents. At this point, Hercules tickled the children by dancing and singing with the students to the song "I Love the Manatee" created especially for this campaign.

    In addition to the Manatee Conservation Awareness Campaign, Green Reef would like to announce that they are currently conducting an art competition for students of all elementary schools. Entries of original paintings, colorings or drawings, measuring 17 by 22 inches, should depict a manatee in its natural habitat. Paintings or drawings may be sent to: Hercules the Manatee, 100 Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town. The first place winner will receive a paid trip to any Manatee Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, lunch, a free T-shirt, manatee posters, coloring books and a CD featuring the "I Love the Manatee" song.. Anyone needing additional information about manatees in Belize may contact Kristen Stelljes at 226-2833 or Dilci Patt at 610-2780.

Search SanPedroSun.net go!
| AmbergrisCaye.com | Island Info | Community | History | Visitor Center |
Belize News | BelizeSearch.com | Messages |

Copyright © San Pedro Sun. Design by Casado Internet Group

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize News