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Photos Courtesy: Sea Jin Park

SILICON VALLEY, CA-- The recently Animation graduate student from the Savanna College of Art and Design in Georgia, reveals to Cultural World Bilingual, in a telephone interview,  that his love for ecology, animals, animation and storytelling led him to create HuManatee an animated film that he drew with the purpose to help protect the species of the docile Manatees. "As a diver," he says, "I care very much about marine animals in general, and reading about them I found out that the Manatees are now a threatened species."

In Zoology's nomenclature, the Manatees belong to the Trichechidae family and the Sirenia Order. They are large fully aquatic marine mammals mostly herbivorous. Their name is better known as sea cows because of their large stature, tameness, slow lolling nature and propensity to be eaten by other animals because they are defenseless.


C.W.B: So you began to study the Manatees?
SEA JIN: "Yes. I got interested in them and when I wanted to learn more about then I found out that they are vulnerable, and docile and that they have no natural predator, except humans, I also found out that one reason that so many were dying in places like Florida, was because the propellers of speeding boats in the ocean hit them, because of their large size, and hurt them or even killed them."

Being an animator, SEA JIN drew a short animated film about one of them,(see his drawing below) creating a unique story with beginning middle and end, and presenting, graphically, the problem caused to the animals by speeding boats in the ocean. He explains his film as follows:

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Animated Manatee drawing by Sea Jin Park

SEA JIN:  " Filmmakers are storytellers, " he said, "and I thought that if their story could be used for a good reason, it needed to be told because it would be meaningful to everybody. So, after reading more about them I also found this beautiful creatures  (the Manatees) are hit often by the propellers of speeding boats. With my film I wanted people to become aware of it."

C.W.B. Is your film a documentary?
SEA JIN: "No, my short film is is not a documentary, it is an animation.  and my sole purpose in writing it, drafting it and animating it, was to create awareness of the problems that the species is still suffering in Florida, where lots of the Manatees had been killed by speeding boats, and those who had survived the collisions with boats's propellers, have been left with wounds all over their backs that may or may not heal and when those wounds don't heal they die, because the Manatees are helpless."

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C.W.B.  Is that the reason why the Jelly fish have to help them in your movie?
SEA JIN:  "Yes. The plot of my movie is that when the Jelly Fish finds out that a reckless boat is coming towards them, to protect them, the Jelly Fish, come together and provide a barrier "

C.W.B. So, by presenting the ecological existing problem in Florida in an animated form, you hope that your movie creates in the minds of those boat drivers the "barrier," that in the future, encourage them to slow down their boats to stop hurting the Manatees, Am I correct?
SEA JIN:" Yes. I hope so. I am telling the Manatees, story in an animation format celebrating animation, but hoping that my short film, get the attention of those people, who race their boats in the Florida's waters, and impulse them to, slow them down. To encourage them to sail their boats more carefully, to look out for marine animals feeding under the water, and to remember that their boats'  propellers spinning at high speed become weapons that can harm and even kill many  helpless Manatees (which they have done this year) in addition to collisions with boats.

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