Photo by @.
A manatee calf hitches a ride - piggy-back style - on it’s mom in the waters off the coast of Belize. While working on an @ story about the Mesoamerican Reef, I frequently went out early in the morning - using only a mask, snorkel and fins - to quietly search for wildlife. Manatees in this region are far less acclimated to humans than those in Florida, and can difficult to approach. They typically spend their nights within thick, protective mangroves, feeding on nearby seagrass beds during the day. All of these ecosystems are connected and conservation of the whole is vital since animals depend on each other for survival.
This mom and calf were very tolerant of me, and allowed me into their world that morning.