In this second episode, the program “Timor-Leste from Below” by SZtv went to East Timor to show you the Dugong, this amazing medium-sized marine mammal also known as Siren Sea Cow, that lives in the bottom of the sea.
Check this amazing video:

Episode 2: Dili and the Dugong: Search for the Siren Sea Cow

“In this episode, we unravel a mystery: Go sky high to search for a siren sea cow… And try to sneak up and snap some pics. “

“My name is Bertie and this is Timor-Leste from Below”

“In old times gone by
Sailors would tell
Stories of mermaids
Beneath the swell”

“Sirens of the sea
These creatures deceive
But look a little closer
And you’ll soon believe”

The dugong

“Centuries ago sailors on the high seas believed that these animals were in fact, real-life mermaids. Commonly referred to as sea cows, these hungry herbivores love to scoff down vast quantities of seagrass, day and night.”

“Despite having a fluke tail similar to a whale or dolphin, Dugongs are in fact distant relatives of the elephant Still hiding teeny tiny tusks behind their large lips.”

“And who’d of thought it? That just outside Timor-Leste’s capital city lives one of these splendid sea cows.”

“Today I’ve come to Tasitolu, a sheltered bay full of seagrass and home, rumors have it, to a mystical marine mammal. I’m going to use this drone here to search this area of ocean. Let’s hope that the dugong is close by.”

“This is not an easy job. Might only look like a small stretch of ocean but it’s still like trying to find a bit of a needle in a haystack. Is that it? Or is that a rock? I think that’s a rock. Although dugongs have adapted to a life aquatic, they still need to surface to take a breath about every 6 minutes.”

“I think I’ve… Will, Will, Will, Will! I think I’ve got it. Is that it? That is it! We’ve got a dugong! Dugong! Right ok, I’m bringing it in and then let’s get in the water. Right, dugong!”

These messy eaters create giant feeding clouds, making them easy to find in the shallow water. Despite commonly being known as sea cows, these animals are far from slow.

However, if you take your time and let them relax as they feed on the tasty seagrass, you can slowly move in for a closer look. I saw a dugong! That’s been top of my bucket list for so long!

And now I’ve finally found one, literally straight off the beach here. Just munching on the seagrass down there. That was incredible. Wooo! Dugong! Swimming with this rare and beautiful animal in the wild, it’s easy to see why they were mistaken for mermaids by sailors out at sea.

However, with global numbers dwindling it’s more important than ever to protect these sublime sea cows and their seagrass homes, now and for centuries to come.

What is SZtv?

SZtv is the new channel of original stories about wildlife and conservation from Scubazoo, an award-winning, independent production company based in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo for the last twenty years.