Sunday, June 08, 2008

Baby Amazonian Manatee - Q&A with rescuer

Here's an interview with Dr Miriam Marmontel, the conservation scientist who helped save Piti, the baby Amazonian Manatee recently. We covered that story back in early May.
Q: What's the story behind Piti, and how has Dr. Gregory Bossart been able to help?

A: Every year there are a number of cases of orphaned manatees, either because they became entangled in fishing nets or because the mother was killed. They may also be used as bait to attract the mothers for an easier kill. The animals that are rescued by the environmental agency (IBAMA) or donated are usually taken to one of 2 authorized facilities for rehabilitation, in or close to Manaus. However, those facilities are close to their maximum capacity, and they don’t have the policy of releasing animals after a few years (some have been in captivity for 30 years). We feel a need to release those animals as soon as possible, so that they can become part of the genetic pool.

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