The gentle sea cow known as ‘Dugong’ in the Philippines was found trapped in the low-tide water of Southern Philippines last January 1, 2009. Dugong is considered endangered by conservationists.
: Filipino fishermen rescued an endangered sea cow, pushing it back to the open water after it was stranded off a beach in the western Philippines, conservationists said Friday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said two fishermen tied a rope around the refrigerator-sized mammal on January 1, one day after it was trapped by low tide on the shore of Palawan’s Puerto Princesa City.
After recuperating in the waist-high water, the 8.5 foot long animal was declared fit for release by WWF activists.
Onlookers cheered as the sea cow-nicknamed Enero or January in Filipino language- was slowly coaxed out of the lagoon.
The gentle Dugong inhabits shallow waters of Indo-Pacific and consumes up to 40 kilograms of sea grass daily. This constant pruning ensures the overall health and productivity of sea grass beds.
Dugongs are thought to live up to 70 years, but give birth to only a single calf every three to five years. They used to inhabit the southern seas of the Philippines until hunting and habitat degradation reduced its number substantially over the years
The continuing awareness campaign by the local government of the Philippines with the assistance of the WWF have produced positive results, with the local residents becoming more aware of the importance of saving and preserving endangered species, including the gentle sea cow or Dugong.