Posted: Friday, April 2, 2021. 12:00 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Jamal Galves is an icon in Belize and beyond for his conservation work regarding manatees. Galves has been acknowledged various times internationally for his work, the latest of which comes from the Florida-based newspaper the Tampa Bay Times, in a recently published article titled “What Florida can learn from the manatee man of Belize”.
The article, written by columnist Stephanie Hayes chronicled Galves’ fated encounter with James Powell, executive director of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, and touched on his experiences that ultimately lead to him becoming an associate research scientist with the institute and the coordinator of the Belize Manatee Conservation project.
The article emphasized Galves’ dedication to saving manatees, something that Belizeans get to see firsthand whenever Galves is sharing information with students or giving an interview to the media.
“Galves woke every day at 4 a.m. to get to the boat by 5, though the crew didn’t arrive until 6. He lugged equipment and emptied the trash. He memorized every process, stethoscope, and measuring cup. He came back each year to help the crew, getting closer to the animals as he grew bigger,” Hayes recounted.
The article also pointed out that many of the struggles manatees face are due to the actions of people, such as bad environmental practices that compromise ecosystems, and watercraft negligence with boat collisions killing many of the gentle creatures each year.
Breaking Belize News takes this opportunity to salute Galves for his amazing work, and wishes him every success as he continues to make Belize proud at home and on the world stage.
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