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The Noble Sea Cow – Manatees in Guyana

Botanical Gardens

Since we’re on the subject of Guyana, maybe you remember when I posted about touristing in Georgetown, I mentioned that I’d been told there were manatees in the National Park, but I hadn’t actually gone to see them. Well, that hasn’t changed.

Two ManateesI have, however, now seen the herd of manatees in the Botanical Gardens in Georgetown. Yup, that’s right Georgetown has TWO herds of manatees. Imagine! In Trinidad, the West Indian Manatee  (Trichecus Manatus) is only now found in the Nariva Swamp, and the size of the herd is closely guarded.

The Botanical Gardens are right next to the Zoo, and are free to enter. In the photo above, the Zoo is beyond that cute bridge. The Gardens make for a great liming spot for locals and tourists – lots of grass to sit, relax or play games. Lovely palm tree lined avenues. Memorials for former leaders if you’re into mausoleums. And manatees!

Big Manatee Cow

I saw about 6 manatees in that pond. If you wave grass in the water, they make their way to the edge so you can feed them. They move underwater, silently, smoothly – you can only tell they’re approaching by a small trail of bubbles and the ripples in the water. And when they near the edge, their snouts begin to emerge. And when one comes, another is sure to follow right behind.

A Manatee Calf!

And then there’s this big cow on the left. She was the biggest. More than 6 feet long. And calmly basking in the sun, almost entirely out of the water, enjoying the attention of her visitors. How did I know she was a cow? Ah, well, when she moved her massive flat flipper-tail, voila – see the baby manatee? Awwwww.

Did you know that the name Manatee comes from a Haitian word “manati” and their closest living relatives are elephants and aardvarks?

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6 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Awww….:-)

    1. Tamarind Ball on August 9th, 2010 at 10:44 am
  2. So sweet, I’ll try to check that out on my next trip to Guyana in September.

    3. Nicole on August 9th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
  3. I didn’t know about the aardvark and elephant

    4. Lilandra on August 13th, 2010 at 12:17 am
  4. Such beautiful creatures. My dream is to see them in the wild here in T’dad. May remain a dream though at the rate we’re destroying our environment

    5. Wizzythestick on August 14th, 2010 at 9:43 pm
  5. I don’t think I ever saw a manatee in Trinidad but we are not a country that promotes wildlife outside of a cookout :(

    6. aka_lol on August 22nd, 2010 at 7:05 pm
  6. There are supposed to be manatees in Nariva Swamp…if the rice farming hasn’t limited their existence!

    7. Chennette on August 23rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Global Voices in English » Guyana: Manatees on August 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    […] has TWO herds of manatees. Imagine!”: Lifespan of a Chennette pays them a […]

  2. […] the East Coast of the island. That’s the place where it’s rumoured to still be home to manatees. Visitors to the Caroni Swamp sit on slow-moving boats with (hopefully) informative tour guides, […]

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