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Cristian Velez (@cristianovelez) has a job that every child dreams of. He works for the Amazon Rescue Center (Centro De Rescate Amazónico) in Iquitos, Peru. The center was built 11 years ago in order to rehabilitate baby manatees which were illegally kept as pets by private citizens.

Baby Manatee
Baby Manatee

In this episode Cristian talks about the challenges of rehabilitating manatees in order to reintroduce them into the wild. We talked about the role the manatees play with the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon. And how they keep the balance of the ecosystem by eating aquatic vegetation. We talked about some of the environmental problems that face Iquitos, Peru such as plastic pollution and poaching. And how the Amazon Rescue Center is working to educate people on these issues.

The Amazon Rescue Center partners with The Dallas World Aquarium and the Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon. Due to Covid and the lockdown they have had to close their doors to visitors and they are doing a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the rehabilitation of the manatees as well as many other animals. You can find more information about how to donate here: : Rescatando Rescatados.

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