Wildtracks: Conservation, Research and Education
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Manatee in rehab pool

Rescuing… Rehabilitating… Releasing… Returning to the Wild…

Appeal Now Closed

Reporting on the Manatee Pool Appeal

The manatee pool appeal has now come to and end, and we're happy to report that we've exceeded our funding target! Thank you! We really appreciate the contributions from all over the world, which have enabled us to start work on the urgently-needed manatee pool upgrades!

So once again, thank you to all those who joined us in ensuring the Manatee Rehabilitation Centre has the facilities it needs to be effective. While the appeal has come to and end, we will still be posting updates on the construction on the Wildtracks Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/wildtracksbelize/.

You can also follow our news reports directly on our own website – http://www.wildtracksbelize.org/news/.

Over the last three weeks, two injured manatee calves have been rescued from the waters of Belize.

Scenes of life at the manatee rehabilitation facility

Wildtracks hosts Belize's Manatee Rehabilitation Centre, providing care for orphaned and injured West Indian Manatees as part of the national initiative to ensure that this endangered species continues to live in Belize's waters.

The two recently arrived orphaned calves bring the total number of manatees in care at the Manatee Rehabilitation Centre to five – a record number reflecting the increasing threats to the population.

We URGENTLY need to upgrade the infrastructure to cope with the increasing numbers.

With only three pools, and one lagoon enclosure (for larger juveniles), we urgently need to upgrade our infrastructure to cope with the additional calves – and there is no guarantee that we won't get yet another calf tomorrow!

It costs US$60 a day to provide milk for the five manatee orphans in care!

These slow, gentle animals, once mistaken for mermaids, can get through an alarming amount of milk before they are weaned – US$60 a day – US$420 a week – a total of US$1,680 a month for the five manatees in care at the moment.

With the addition of two calves and the associated costs, we have a funding gap for the coming four weeks, and urgently need to find the US$1,680 to see us through.

Total Budget:


Amount Raised
to Date:


Target Beaten By:


The intensive care facilities at Wildtracks

Manatee calves have now exceeded the number of pools available... Mitch and the newest manatee share the Intensive Care enclosure.

How can you help?

We urgently need funds for:

  • 1. Construction of an Additional Pool: Total US$3,200
    • Overall pool size: 19'6" long x 9'6" wide x 3'6" deep
    • Cost of materials (including plumbing): US$2,200
    • Cost of labour: US$1,000
  • 2. Replacement pump and pipework for filling pools: US$1,120
  • 3. One month of milk: US$1,680

What will this achieve?

This will address the immediate needs, and give us the capacity to be able to be effective in taking the manatee calves in our care successfully through to release…

Meet Lucky

Lucky came into the centre a few days ago, and is thought to be about 6 weeks old. His name was given to him by Jamal Galves (of the Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network), first responder to the seldom visited beach, who says that it is pure luck that this calf was found at all. Badly scratched and bruised, this small calf has problems staying even-keeled in the water, and needs physical support in the water as his condition stabilizes.

Lucky the manatee, on arrival at Wildtracks

Meet Mitch

Mitch was found a few weeks ago, near the body of a dead manatee – presumed to be his mother. He sides were badly bruised, and his flippers had limited movement – unable to support him when he struggled to the surface to breathe. During the first four days, he required intensive care, with people in the water 24 hours a day. When unsupported, he would become frantic and panic. Over the last week. he has recovered significantly, and doesn't require 24 hour care. He is showing all signs of being a healthy, stable manatee calf with a very healthy appetite.

Mitch the manatee

Meet Khaleesi

Khaleesi was discovered, less than a week old, being washed against the rocks at the water's edge by strong waves. She is now a year old and doing well, though she was small when she came in, and is still small for her age.

Khaleesi at Wildtracks

Meet Rhamases

Hit by a boat, he came in with deep propeller cuts and a collapsed lung – only able to swim on his side, and unable to dive. He is now fully recovered, swimming normally in the water, and able to stay underwater for four minutes or more at a time. Well on the way to release, he now weighs over 300lbs, and has an insatiable appetite!

Rhamases at Wildtracks

Meet Duke

Duke, the oldest calf, is now three years old (past weaning age), but is still being given a supplemental elemental milk formula to keep his weight up. He arrived in very poor condition, ribs clearly showing, and has struggled to put on weight. He is now filling out and is starting to look more like a healthy manatee… but he still has a long way to go.

Duke at Wildtracks

How can I help the appeal?

The appeal has now closed, but the day-to-day costs of running the Manatee Rehab Centre continue. If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so safely and securely via our PayPal donate button.


Join us in making the difference!

How else can I get involved?

You can help us in other ways, too – particularly by helping to spread the word about the appeal!