Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shark Revival

Hi Sea Fans!

I was thinking about what I should write this week and then all chaos broke loose.  The day was running as planned, the routine stuff like cleaning of tanks and morning feeding was all done, the divers were finishing their last two dive feeds and suddenly...we got a call.  A public member was desperately looking for someone to help a shark in distress.  Some fishermen had caught a shark in their nets by mistake, removed it and left it on the beach!  Now we all know that sharks breathe IN WATER not on land, they need the water.  When we got there, these guys reckoned that the shark was fine and they were going to put it back in a minute.  Hmmmm, I don't think so.   Anyway, without further ado, we were off to the aquarium to try and save this poor animal.  Unfortunately, although we tried everything, including swimming it for over 4 hours, the shark didn't make it.  It was looking positive at one stage when he gave a few flicks of his tail and swam on his own for a bit, but then his muscles stiffened and he couldn't anymore.

Photo: James Watt
Why do I tell you such a sad story, you ask?  Well, it's so that you know the good and the bad.  Aquarium staff are often called out to help save a stranded or injured animal and unfortunately, some of the animals are too far gone by the time help arrives.  What you can do for me today (if you live by the sea) is make a promise to help stranded marine life by calling help (your local aquarium or marine life rehabilitation centre or Nature Conservation officials) when you see that they need it. [If you don't live by the sea, land animals and birds often need help too... and zoos, the SPCA and Nature Conservation can help them, so please make the call.]

Yes, I've had a few exaggerated phone calls like the one about the stranded turtle that was the size of a car tyre and possibly a tractor tyre (He ended up being smaller than a hub cap!) but you know what, we'd rather have a mistaken identity (tortoises don't have flippers like turtles) or an exaggerated call than having an animal suffer when we could have helped so please make that call and save a life.

Thanks Sea Fans, have a great week.
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