Wild Pacific Rescue

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Wild Pacific Rescue

Dr Martin Haulena and his team at the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre have dedicated their lives to save as many sea creatures as they can. Their motto is “every animal counts”.

As the name suggests, the centre got designed to help marine mammals like sea lions, seals, sea otters and dolphins, but they aren’t above lending a helping hand to sea turtles and other oceanic creatures.

The team’s responsibilities are threefold:

1) Rescue:

There are many marine mammal species, and depending on the situation and their age, the rescue strategy can vary wildly. The OWMaMaRC team asks people not to help distressed wild animals on their own. Without an expert present, good samaritans place themselves and the animals in danger. A common, and one of the most challenging rescue missions they deal with, is saving sea lions who got entangled in discarded packing straps, rope, string, and nets using techniques that the team has pioneered.

2) Rehabilitation:

The team consists of multiple registered veterinarians and technicians. It is their job to nurse a rescued animals back to health as comfortably as possible. Animals who, for their best interest, cannot be released back into the wild are kept as species mascots, used to promote the survival of their species.

3) Release:

The ultimate goal of all staff members is to release as many healthy animals back into the wild as they can. To that end, they follow low-stress strategies. It allows animals to preserve their natural behaviours, making their reintroduction to the wild far easier.

The Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Rescue Centre typically saves over 150 animals a year. Witness the trials, tribulations, failures and success stories of the team and their volunteers in Wild Pacific Rescue.

Saturday at 07:30 PM on Love Nature (ch 224) from Saturday, 3 July

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse