THE rescue of stranded fur seal pups over the last few days, and their successful return to their colony at Black Rocks in the Bird Island Group on January 9, was a collaborative effort.
While articles in the press have mentioned some of the parties involved, I feel that the contribution of the main participants to this effort must all be recorded. Those below need to be acknowledged for their selfless work. This was, in most cases undertaken without any remuneration, during holidays and at awkward hours.
- South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Samrec) volunteers, especially Libby Sharwood and Lana Cummings, for responding to calls from the public and for searching for and catching pups;
- South African National Parks (SANParks), especially Guy Padayachee for searching for and catching pups and housing them at Woody Cape for several days;
- Coast Care for collecting pups;
- International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for funding the exercise;
- East London Aquarium for looking after the VIP (Very Important Pup) that made headlines;
- Berco Express Couriers for transporting the VIP from East London to Port Elizabeth in a vehicle of their own at short notice in time to make the boat;
- Anel Slabbert of the Port Alfred SPCA who transported the last two pups;
- Bayworld Oceanarium staff for looking after pups for 24 hours at Bayworld and assisting in their release;
- Morven McClean whose boat, the Blue Pearl, transported the pups back to their colony, and the skipper Anthony Opperman for his remarkable manoeuvring close to the colony, and;
- The various members of the public who risked bites, walked long distances of the beach, returned to sites to search for lost pups, and transported them at their own expense and everyone else whom I may have forgotten.
Please remember that Bayworld responds to reports of live or dead stranded seals, dolphins or whales.
These can be reported to (041) 584-0650 or 071-724-2122.
Greg Hofmeyr, curator: marine mammals, Bayworld