Featured Image Credit: Vancouver Aquarium Facebook Conservation
The Vancouver Aquarium needs our help. They really, really need it now more than ever.
The Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Program, the ONLY program of its kind in Canada, saves more than 100 sick, injured, or orphaned marine mammals every year. This successful program has the resources and expertise it takes to rehabilitate and care for these animals that are not able to return to their natural habitat.
The Vancouver Aquarium was deeply disappointed with the Vancouver Park Board and their decision to ban the importation and display of live cetaceans like dolphins, belufagas, whales and porpoises at the aquarium back in March 2017.
The park board categorized the vote as “one of the the biggest decisions the park board has made,” and even called it “historic.”
Despite all of this, the aquarium is making a last-ditch effort to put a halt to a board bylaw amendment. Aquarium officials are hoping that a large amount of public support will change the park board commissioners minds.
Randy Pratt, an incoming board chair at the aquarium, said on Thursday, April 27 that this ban would put the Marine Mammal Rescue program at a very high risk.
“The proposed bylaw has generated concern among our staff and the public about the fate of the Marine Mammal Rescue program and cetaceans currently in our care,” said Pratt. “We are asking the public to make their voices heard on the issue.”
That is where we step in.
The aquarium is encouraging the public to use the letter-sending form to send a note to the park board, which can be found here.
Dr. Martin Haulena, the aquarium’s head veterinarian said without the rescue program, cetaceans found to be in distress in the wild will have to be put down.
“It’s going to be me that has to go and euthanize these animals. It’s not the park board. It’s not the politicians. It’s not the people that are yelling out front of the aquarium that are going to have to go euthanize the animals,” said Hauleana.
“It’s going to be me or it’s going to be some poor conservation officer with a firearm.” he said.
Haulene said that he is losing sleep over the stress of this approaching bylaw.
“I’ve devoted my entire life to saving animals,” he said.
Park board commissioners are set to vote on the bylaw amendment by May 15.
Please make your voice heard to help support these vulnerable marine mammals and to ensure they will live long, happy lives in the best care possible at Vancouver Aquarium.