Mamiwata is an African name for a spirit believed to be embodied by the manatee. This blog chronicles my search for the elusive African manatee, and my exploration to understand its biology, habitat and preservation needs, economic and cultural significance. So little is known about this animal, yet it is intensely hunted almost everywhere it exists and may already be gone from much of its previous range. In 2006 I was inspired to go find and study them, starting in Gabon.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
New photos of the orphan manatee calf in Gabon, courtesy of Jonathan, the Masters student from Puerto Rico who is there working with him until April. Victor's skin lesions are healing well...
He is getting regular medical exams. Here Jonathan listens to his heart rate. Victor sill needs to be bottle fed every few hours Taking Victor's weight. They'll need a bigger scale as he grows!
Update on Victor, the orphan manatee calf in Gabon
A manatee Masters student from Puerto Rico, Jonathan, has traveled to Gabon to work with the manatee for several months and it's going really well so far! After losing some weight the calf is now putting the pounds back on again.
Below is a message to Tony Mignucci in Puerto Rico (who arranged for Jonathan to go to Gabon)from Ricardo, of the Wildlife Conservation Society who oversees the daily operations of Mayumba National Park:
I’m just back from the field having spent the weekend down at the manatee site. I have been very impressed with Johnathan’s attitude, knowledge and professionalism and we have all been learning a lot from him, including Victor! ; ) He has already improved the quality of care provided to the manatee and has introduced the new feeding system that Victor has accepted very well, this will greatly improve the amount of nourishment we can provide Victor.
Thank you for making Jonathan available to us, it is a huge assistance to us and Victor.