Thursday, August 13, 2009

TributeThe manatee community was stunned and saddened today to learn of the death of our colleague Akoi Kouadio of Cote D'Ivoire. Akoi worked tirelessly with West African manatees for many years after being trained by Buddy Powell in the mid-1980's. He did his PhD work on the manatees of Fresco Lagoon in Cote D'Ivoire and also did surveys in the Congo and several other African countries. He had the longest running manatee research program in Africa and was an advisor to many. I first met Akoi in 2000 when we both participated in Buddy's manatee captures in Belize. More recently we worked together on the CMS West African Manatee Action Plan, and celebrated when it was completed and signed by 15 countries last October. Akoi was a shy man, and probably would've been embarrassed at any kind of public tribute, but his dedication was absolute and we all will miss him greatly.

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