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Victor continues to grow!

Victor, the orphan manatee calf being rehabilitated in southern Gabon has now reached 30kg! This is a good milestone because it has taken a long time for him to steadily gain weight. When he was rescued he weighed 27 kg, but he lost weight for awhile before he adjusted to his diet of soy milk. For manatees (unlike people) fat is good! West African manatees are generally smaller than their cousins the Florida manatee, but no one has ever raised an African calf in captivity for this long before, so we don’t know what normal growth is. Victor is providing his caregivers, consulting vets, and everyone else involved lots of new information.

To celebrate Victor’s growth, caregiver Aimee made a Victor cake. Let’s hope there are many more cakes to celebrate Victor’s milestones as he grows and thrives!

Unfortunately funds for Victor’s care are running very low, and he still needs captive care for at least 1 1/2 more years. If you can help, donations are gratefully accepted at:

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

In 2 days I’ll be traveling back to Gabon to meet Victor and to do fieldwork in the lagoon where he lives. I’ll be looking for other manatees there as well as the habitat to assess the plants that manatees eat. This summer I’ll also do manatee surveys in the Congo, and I’ll post all my news here on the blog, so check back soon!
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