Young boy's curiosity leads him to head up manatee conservation in Belize.
Jamal Galves was just 11 years old when he met a research team preparing to head out for manatee health assessments in Belize - a Caribbean country located on the northeastern coast of Central America. Jamal was curious about the expedition and asked to join the team.
“I was just fascinated,” Jamal says. “And I learned so much. Then I realized that these guys are in trouble, and I decided that I'm going to commit myself to do everything that I can to conserve and protect manatees.”
Later he joined manatee scientists at Sea to Shore Alliance to assist with manatee captures, health assessments, rescues, and relocations.
Now, after 20 years of devoted and passionate conservation of the endangered manatees, Jamal has risen through ranks. He is now in charge of the entire Manatee Conservation Program in Belize.