Coastal Zone Management Authority and
Institute has announced that Woody, the
orphaned baby manatee, has moved from the Belize Zoo. The newborn male
was rescued nearly four months ago from the waters near Buttonwood Bay by
members of the Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network (BMMSN).
For the past three months, personnel at the Belize
Zoo, with technical assistance from the BMMSN, have been providing free,
round-the-clock care for Woody. The dedicated rehabilitative care
provided by the Zoo has resulted in Woody's excellent condition today. In
addition, through the efforts of Zoo personnel, funds were collected to
cover some of the cost incurred for Woody's care.
However, as a three and a half month old, Woody's need
for resources have increased, specifically his need for water, and a move
was deemed necessary. He was moved to his new home in Sarteneja Friday,
January 28th to
provide easier access
to those resources. Sarteneja will
furnish a more natural setting that may aid in his adaptation as he is
released into the wild.
A manatee caretaker will be hired to care for Woody
during his stay in Sarteneja. The caretaker will be supervised by
WildTracks, a Corozal based volunteer conservation organization, and the
BMMSN. Until the caretaker is hired, WildTracks will be the primary
caregiver. So far, financial support for Woody's care in Sarteneja has
been received from Yalbac Ranch and the Save-The-Manatee Club in
Persons from the Corozal/Sarteneja area interested in
the manatee caretaker position can call the Coastal Zone Management
Authority and Institute at 02-30719/35739/32616 or WildTracks at
Woody should be released into the wild at age two,
depending on the status of his health.