Marine Mammal Rescue Day is recognized by the Californian State Senate on April 27th:
"...in honor of the important and tireless work of dozens of wildlife biologists, veterinarians and animal care specialists who rescue marine animals that wash ashore in distress, many near death."
With the plethora of threats facing our oceans, it's not too surprising that the number of ocean mammals that need our help and assistance has increased. The rising temperatures of the sea, the decline in fish populations due to overfishing, the pollution from plastic and oil alike is causing chaos in the natural world and we can see the repercussions of our actions now trickling down the food chain.
The most common reasons for animals needing to be rescued by The Marine Mammal Centre are:
Malnutrition - as a result of overfishing or becoming separated from the mother during weaning, or illness
Illnesses such as toxic algae poisoning or bacterial infections
Entanglements in ocean pollution
What should you do if you find a stranded marine mammal?
We all love to watch the heartwarming moments when a marine mammal is rescued by a passer by, however simply assisting the animal back to the ocean isn't always the best plan.
According to the British Divers Marine Life Rescue is you spot a stranded marine mammal you should call them, note the place, the tide and any injuries you can see without getting close. They will then be able to advise you on what to do and will get a trained medic out as soon as possible.
The Marine Mammal Centre in the US has very similar advice:
DON'T TOUCH — Do not touch, pick up or feed the animal. Do not return the animal to the water.
OBSERVE — Observe the animal from a distance of at least 50 feet. Keep people and dogs away.
DESCRIBE — Note physical characteristics such as size, presence of external ears and fur color. Assess the animal's condition: Is it weak or skinny? Does it have any open wounds? Look for any obvious identification tags or markings.
LOCATE — Determine the animal's exact location for accurate reporting.
CALL — Call The Marine Mammal Center with as much information as you have.
If you do find a stranded marine mammal you should call the numbers below if you are in the UK or USA.
01825 765546 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
07787 433412 Out of office hours and Bank Holidays
In Mendocino through San Mateo counties:
(415) 289-SEAL (7325)
In Monterey and Santa Cruz counties:
In San Luis Obispo County:
Check out these heartwarming release videos!
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