One of only four species in the world, this manatee’s habitat ( trichechus inunguis) is restricted to the Amazonian basin. In the small, cutoff town of Iquitos, Peru lies the non profit, nongovernmental, fully run by volunteers organization, the Amazonian Manatee Rescue Center.
Walking into the rescue center you can feel and see the need for funding. You can also sense the care and dedication of the people working to help save this beautiful endangered species. We saw babies in small tanks, trying to just survive, moving slowly as they were recuperating from the trauma they endured out in the wild.
There is hope though, as the volunteers have successfully raised small abandoned manatee babies from the wild after their parents were murdered to grow into young, healthy manatee’s here at the center. They let us feed these younglings, and you truly get the sense of their playfulness and wonder.
I don’t know what it is about these creatures that I love, but putting my hand to their skin, having their whiskers tickle my bare arm whilst they suckle the bottle of milk that I was feeding them was a moment of connectness with nature that I’ll never forget.
Won’t you please Save the Manatee?