Mapixari – an Amazon Warrior

The manatee lost his mother, did not adapt to the wildlife, but had a happy ending.

The Mapixari manatee arrived in the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Inpa/MCTIC) captivity in 2000, about five months old, from the Jacitara community, municipality of Maraã (920 km from the capital of Amazonas). He lost his mother to the poaching, was thin and with some injuries, but he adapted with all captivity’s conditions, totally rehabilitating himself.

In 2009, he was selected as a candidate to return to free life. In April of that same year, Mapixari and Xibó (another manatee) were reintroduced in the Cuieiras river, affluent of the Negro river. Four months after the release, it was sighted inside the forest of igapós (environment characteristic of the Amazon Forest), quite debilitated and underweight. He was captured and taken back to Inpa, where he was again rehabilitated.

In 2011, Mapixari was one of the first animals to be transferred to a new semi-captive stage, remaining in this area for four years, until the definitive release in nature in 2016, in the Piagaçu-Purus Reserve, below the Purus river. Difference from the first attempt, Mapixari explored and used the main habitats of the dry and full season species of the Purus River, and was sighted periodically along with the native manatees of the area. The Mapixari monitoring lasted almost 2 years, the lifetime of the battery of the VHF transmitter, suggesting the adaptation of this animal to the natural environment.

“The history of the Mapixari’s life is an example and presents a difficulty of a kind of extinction risk for man’s threats. Our society has an obligation to preserve the manatee of the Amazon and guarantee the future of this species, so that The happy are enjoyed in a healthy and balanced environment, respecting all forms of live life, providing greater security to this life.