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Jun 27, 2018

Male Manatee Calf Rescued near Long Caye

Tonight, a male manatee calf is being rehabilitated at Wild Tracks; a rehabilitation facility in Sarteneja, after it was is rescued near Long Caye. Sea to Shore Alliance Coordinator Jamal Galvez was en route to Caye Caulker for a tour with the Real Tarzan Man Michael Holsten, who is in Belize promoting the unique animals of Belize, when he was called about the discovery. The three-week old calf was separated from its mother and was under attack by dolphins when a fisherman came to its rescue. Galvez notes that while it is best for the baby mammal to be reunited with its mother, the fisherman did the right thing. Late this evening, we caught up with Holsten and Galvez at the Radisson Pier in Belize City where the calf was placed into a small pool in the back of a vehicle and transported to Corozal.

 

Jamal Galvez

Jamal Galvez, Coordinator, Sea to Shore Alliance

“He saw three dolphins thrashing the young calf up against the mangrove. He tried to shoo the dolphins away, but with no avail. The mother was there for a while, but they kept thrashing him and he feared that they would eventually kill the calf and so he brought it back to the island. The goal is never to separate a mother from its calf, but in this case I totally understand. And for people that may see this situation, I encourage them to call it in so we know what the situation is, we can give you better advice on it. So the animal is in good care; some scratches. It is a young male, still has its umbilical cord; maybe two or three weeks old.”

 

Michael Holsten

Michael Holsten, Animal Specialist

“It was a beautiful experience. I got to meet with Jamal; instead of seeing him on Instagram, it was a putting a face with a social profile. And it was an honor to come here and do actual work with the manatee man himself. And I learn a lot today. I learn a lot from my new friends over here. They taught me a lot about manatees; stuff I can’t learn from Wikipedia or other people in the United States. The stuff he knows about manatees in Belize that he doesn’t know in Florida and vice versa. So it is good to come here and be a sponge and observe the knowledge from gurus like Jamal and it is a blessing. Jamal’s thirty and I am twenty-four and I see myself in Jamal and I’m sure Jamal sees himself in me when he was younger. So I can’t wait till I am thirty years old and I am out here rescuing anything.”

 

Jamal Galvez

“The calf heads to Sarteneja with the folks at Wild Tracks where he will be going through rehabilitation. I think there are five other animals there and the goal is to make it healthy and strong and of good size so it can go back into the wild again to contribute to the population.”

 

Reporter

“Is there any way that it could be reunited with its mom at this point?”

 

Jamal Galvez

“We tried honestly. On the way back, we went to the area to see if there is a lone manatee in the area. Our goal was to put the manatee in the water and see if they vocalize and perhaps she’d approach and would have indicated that perhaps it’s the mother. But we didn’t see it.”

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