by Lorrie Holmes
GIVE AN INJURED, SICK OR ORPHANED MARINE MAMMAL A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY WITH A SYMBOLIC ADOPTION.
I had so much fun creating this story for BC Parent Newsmagazine and am happy to share it with all of you here at Kids News & Reviews. Be sure to also check out our past story about the Vancouver Aquarium written by one of our Kids Who Write!
Internationally renowned for it’s groundbreaking stranded marine mammal medical program, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Society (VAMMR) responds to over 300 marine mammal emergencies annually and runs Canada’s only dedicated marine mammal hospital facility. Over the 60 years in operation, VAMMR has successfully rescued and rehabilitated over 3000 marine mammals.
It’s estimated that more than 400 sea lions along the B.C. coast are currently caught in discarded rope, nets, monofilament and packing bands. If left untreated, these materials often result in a prolonged and painful death. Thanks to the support of people like you, sick, injured or orphaned seals, sea otters, sea lions, turtles and small cetaceans are given a second chance at life.
Fortunately, with the help of people like you, the VAMMR team has pioneered a way to disentangle and save the lives of these animals.
Today we will be interviewing Lindsaye Akhurst, Manager of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Working at the Rescue Centre since 2006, Lindsaye is a registered Veterinary Technologist, President of the Oiled Wildlife Society of B.C. and a member of the Wildlife Rehabilitators network of British Columbia. Lindsaye possesses finely tuned rehabilitation skills specifically when working with seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea turtles, and sea otters.
BC PARENT: Congratulations on your charitable status! What is the main focus on the VAMMR?
LINDSAYE: Our main focus is to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine mammals while also focusing on public and industry education.
BC PARENT: What is your role in helping?
LINDSAYE: Our role is to work in partnership with DFO, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in providing medical care and rehabilitation efforts for distressed and injured marine mammals in BC.
BC PARENT: What do we do if we see an animal in distress?
LINDSAYE: Please don’t try to help an animal on your own. Marine animal rescues are complicated and each case requires careful planning and response depending on the species involved, geography, weather and available resources. To ensure your safety and the safety of the animals, please follow our reporting guidelines that we have prepared for those who have observed a marine animal in distress:
- Stay back and do not interfere with the animal
- Keep other people and pets away
- Call 604-258-SEAL (7325)
- For large whales and marine mammal incidents call 1-800-465-4336
BC PARENT: What are some ways we can currently support the VAMMR?
LINDSAYE: You can make a donation to support a marine mammal rescue. Your donation will give injured, sick or orphaned marine mammals a second chance at life. All donations go directly to VAMMR to help rescue, rehabilitate and release these marine mammals in distress.
BC PARENT: We can also adopt a rescue animal, right? How does this work?
LINDSAYE: Absolutely! Our symbolic adoptions also directly support VAMMR. They include a patient fact card, an adoption certificate, a tax receipt for your purchase and also, an option to send an e-card to a gift recipient.
BC PARENT: This sounds like the perfect program to involve our kids in and even classrooms!
New! Valentine’s Day Adoptions
Searching for an otterly adorable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Consider our new Valentine’s Day symbolic adoptions. It’s a thoughtful gesture that supports marine mammals’ well-being throughout the year.
Each special edition adoption comes with a downloadable Valentine-themed Animal Adoption Card. You’ll also get to send a punny e-card to your special someone.
Choose from seven rescued animals, including our latest addition, sea otter Rialto!
Rescued: September 14, 2023
A seal pup currently at the Rescue Centre.
Rescued: July 3, 2020
The sea otter pup who stole the world’s heart in 2020.
Out Of The Blue
Rescued: August 17, 2023
A seal pup with a quirky personality currently in care at the Rescue Centre.
Rescued: July 21, 2023
A seal pup currently receiving care at the Rescue Centre.
Rescued: August 23, 2018
Creamsicle was a curious seal pup admitted patient in 2018 who was released after 63 days in our care.
Rescued: May 5, 2017
The California sea lion who beat the odds after suffering from small calibre gunshot wounds to the face.
Rescued: August 1, 2016
A Northern sea otter pup who was found starving and near death on a Washington State beach.
Thank you Lindsaye for taking the time to speak to us today. Again, congratulations on your charitable status and we look forward to spreading this message so we can all help in future RESCUES, REHABILITATIONS AND RELEASES of our distressed marine mammals in British Columbia.