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Manatee calf in Gabon: surviving but needs your help!

It’s wonderful news that the calf (now renamed “Victor”) has survived over 2 weeks! Manatee veterinarians and colleagues from around the world who have experience in caring for orphaned manatee calves in developing countries have provided excellent advice via the internet, and have sent the first feeding supplies to help the staff there keep the animal alive. None of the people on site have worked with manatees previously, and all are to be commended for huge efforts over the past weeks, feeding the manatee every 3 hours around the clock, finding and housing volunteers, and locating supplies. Ken Cameron, a WCS veterinarian who has manatee expertise has arrived on scene, given the manatee a health assessment and is addressing some health issues.

But now that it appears likely Victor will survive, funds are desperately needed to support the care of this animal for the longer term. Needs include:

  • Formula (soy milk and vitamins) = $250 per month
  • Veterinary supplies = $200 per month
  • National transport costs (for supplies, staff rotation, etc.) = $200 per month
  • Communication costs (internet, phone) = $100 per month
  • Hiring and provisions for 2 local staff or expat volunteers to help with care and feeding = $900 per month
  • Other costs (maintenance of the corral, record keeping, etc) = $100 per month
  • Propane refrigerator and stove for storing supplies and preparing formula= $500
  • Setting up basic accomodation for round the clock workers (cots, mosquito nests, building repair, etc.)= $500
  • Emergency international vet transport to site = $1000
  • Possible translocation = $1500

This appeal for support is urgent since no dedicated funds currently exist for this manatee calf, and care will get very expensive over time. Orphan manatee calves need two years of care before being released back to the wild. West African manatees are very rare and hunted extensively throughout their range. This is an exceptional opportunity not only to help this individual, but for scientists to learn about this elusive species, and to promote educational awareness for manatees in Gabon and throughout Africa. If you are able to help, please send donations to:

Victor the Manatee c/o the Marine Program
Wildlife Conservation Society
Attn: Grace Seo
2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10460 USA
Tel: 718-220-8156

Please make checks out to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Thank you!

1 Comment
  • Caryn Self-Sullivan, Ph.D.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm Reply

    Until WCS get's their online donation page set up, you can donate through Sirenian International online at We will forward 100% of your donation on to WCS's special account for Victor, the orphaned manatee in Gabon.

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