Wildtracks Takes In A Humanized Manatee

Paul Walker of Wildtracks stands to the left of shelving that contains several containers of milk replacement formula. In front of the shelf are bins, towels, and other supplies needed to help rehabilitate manatees.
The latest shipment of donations from SMC members is delivered to Wildtracks. Photo courtesy of Wildtracks.

By Paul Walker, Wildtracks Belize

After some prolonged delays, the latest shipment of donations finally arrived! Thank you so very much—it’s always such a big occasion to receive the Save the Manatee Club (SMC) supply shipments, especially having exhausted the entire national stock of Esbilac formula a few weeks ago!
We recently had to rescue another manatee—a Mexican sub-adult that is very humanized and was approaching folks in the water in Sarteneja, Belize. She’s here now for behavioral rehabilitation, with the aim being to switch her attention to other manatees rather than people. Sienna—as she’s been named—is doing well, though it will be at least another 3 months before we really see whether she gets over her attraction to people. The big rescue net that SMC had made for us a few years ago is absolutely perfect for such rescues. With that—and a sling—it’s a nicely relaxed, no-fuss way of catching a manatee.
Nugget, who hadn’t been back since late last year, returned recently—quite thin, it looks as if she got lost somewhere in the lagoon system and depleted the seagrass resources wherever she was. She’s regaining lost weight nicely now, but we’ll keep her enclosed until her weight is where it should be. Twiggy, who did something similar many years ago, came back yesterday for one of her brief visits—she looks fantastic, with her back being as wide as a table. Tess and Toby continue to do well, both being quite solid little manatees now!
The supplies you send every year are such an immense help. We really cannot thank SMC and your members enough; it makes the seemingly impossible possible!

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