Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Marine Mammal Rescue

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One of our regular walks is along Spanish Banks from Jericho to the dog beach. This morning, we got lucky. As we were walking back to the car a van pulled into the parking lot.

Marine Mammal Rescue at Spanish Banks

The guy in the broad brimmed hat is the Life Guard. He went with the van driver, who was carrying the grey plastic animal container, to a line of red buoys that mark the limits of the swimming area to a part of the beach marked by traffic cones.

Marine Mammal Rescue at Spanish Banks

At that distance it was a bit hard to see what was going on. As usual we had failed to equip ourselves with binoculars or a proper camera, so these are iPhone images.

When the Marine Mammal Rescue operative got back to the path I asked him if I might take a picture.

Marine Mammal Rescue at Spanish Banks

Lucky me. Lucky little seal – although he was a bit unhappy and making wailing noises. But I am sure he is in good hands. The Vancouver Aquarium has been going through a tough time lately. The Parks Board have brought in a new by-law against keeping cetaceans in captivity. This is a problem for this program.

I must admit to considerable ambivalence about this issue. If it were not for movies like “Free Willy” and “Blackfish” I wouldn’t know very much about it but I do know my children greatly enjoyed every visit we made to this aquarium and others on the West Coast. I do know that I felt uncomfortable watching sentient beings performing: I dislike aquaria now almost as much as I disliked circuses as a child.

I also know that the Vancouver Aquarium is a very important tourist attraction for Vancouver – and the paid admissions help fund the rescue service. And getting this little seal back into his natural environment would not happen without them. It is equally uncomfortable to think of him as crow bait.

There is a donate button for this service on the link I provided. There is also a blog.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Posted in photography

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