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  • The Curious Traveler

What in the world is a Dugong?

This is a Dugong
…this is a Dugong!

These enormous marine mammals, can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia. Dugongs are related to manatees, and graze on underwater grasses day and night. This week our Palau guide, Ron Leidich, spotted a couple of Dugongs off the coast of Palau. These docile animals let him lie down next to them on the ocean floor. Yesterday, Ron had one circle him for about an hour.

Ron is a passionate conservationist who lobbies tirelessly to ban shark fishing. He is also in charge of Palau’s crown-of-thorns reduction program, which removes more than 5,000 of these coral eating beasts every year. Ron also plans to be the first to record all of the bird calls in Palau. He speaks English, Spanish, Palauan, and Indonesian, and is a proud father of a son and a new baby girl.

Care to snorkel and swim with a Dugong yourself? Join us on one of our Palau: Oceania Odyssey trips and we will see if it can be arranged.

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