Reports from the Field

Making a Difference – Working with Manatees in Belize

By: Emily Carpenter | Posted on: 08 Sep 2016


“Michelle had come to fruit chop to say goodbye to everyone. My hands were covered in dirt and grime from the water hyacinths, but she gave me a hug anyways; I made sure not to get my grubby hands on her nice white shirt. We quickly said goodbye, and she told me, “Have a really good time taking care of the manatees!”

Emily Carpenter DSC_0078 smallShe probably didn’t know this at the time, but that resonated quite strongly in my thoughts for the next few hours and days. I have only been at the project for a little under a month now, but I have already seen the manatees take such large steps towards full recovery and release. Two of the big events were that a manatee named Twiggy was moved from a concrete enclosure to the lagoon enclosure with three other manatees, and Khaleesi has started soft release and has been out in the lagoon three times! In the day-to-day, it can sometimes be easy to lose sight of the larger pictures, but that simple goodbye did a lot to remind me that I get to participate in something that is larger than me, something that is making a difference, and something that is making a valuable contribution to legitimate needs in this area and around the world…..”


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Emily Carpenter