Saturday, June 26, 2010

dugong


(image source)


(image source)

I had never heard of dugongs before until someone made a reference to them the other day. I was pleasantly surprised when i looked them up-- they are adorable!

Dugongs (Tagalog for "lady of the sea") are gentle marine mammals that are closely related to the manatee. They are currently close to extinction due to being over-hunted by humans. Dugongs are herbivorous, and unlike manatees, they live strictly in marine environments.

They are so cute... I want to give one a hug.

3 comments:

jenji said...

I've gone diving with these creatures (well, their cousins the manatees) and they're about to become more endangered than they already were in Crystal River, Florida because of the fucking oil spill, which lets face it, it wasn't a spill per se, it was a gargantuan clusterfuck waiting to happen: mix greed with incompetence and stir.

That whole thing makes me see red. So, so wrong and it's devastating a/effects will be around for a long, long time.

Swimming with the sea cows was a truly magical experience. I'm glad I had the opportunity to do so a couple of times before it all goes to Hell.

jenji

Justine said...

Hi Chococotton!
I agree with you about the dugongs, they are beautiful, peaceful mammals. We have them in Australia, they are protected - and endangered - marine animals.
There is bad news though - they are being slaughtered in their hundreds, butchered up while still alive and then sold on the black market.
The Australian government knows and doesn't care.
One man in Cairns is fighting to save them. He has a website if you are interested:
http://dugongandturtles.webs.com/
I found your blog by searching under dugong.

chococotton said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

My sincerest birthday wish was that the oil spill (can it even be called "spill"?) will be fixed soon, and that the wildlife will be important enough for the government to make it a priority. I'm not feeling too optimistic, though.

I don't know what there is I can do to help from where I am... I feel very helpless watching it happen on TV. It's downright heartbreaking.

As for the dugongs, I think more awareness needs to be raised about these creatures, because I'd never even heard of them before. It'd be helpful to start at the elementary school level, to teach kids about dugongs and manatees. I think part of the reason why they're so easily butchered is because people use the word "manatee" as a pejorative term for "fat"... there really needs to be a shift to seeing them as being beautiful animals.