It was an exciting day yesterday for the directors of Cetus Society! We received a phone call just before lunch time from Annely Greene with DFO Fisheries Management – Marine Mammal Response Program. She let us know that a report had come in about a possible porpoise or dolphin which had been spotted and appeared to be stranded on a beach out near Patricia Bay. We gathered up our responding kit and set out to investigate. When we arrived on-scene we could tell that it was indeed a harbor porpoise that appeared to be stranded on a small reef a little ways out from shore. With chest waders on we were able to wade across to the reef and have a look at the porpoise. Since the tide was coming in quickly and we were risking getting stranded on the reef with the little guy we very gently worked to move him in to the main beach. We spent the afternoon ensuring that his blowhole remained above the water, his skin was kept wet and that he was as comfortable as possible given the difficult circumstances. As we did this we coordinated with staff veterinarian Dr. Martin Haulena and the rest of his team at the Vancouver Aquarium as well as Annely Greene and Lisa Spaven from DFO Science – Cetacean Research Program, to arrange for a pick up at the BC Ferries terminal. Neil Dangerfield and Steve Romaine from the Institute of Ocean Sciences responded and helped us load the porpoise into their truck for transport to the ferries and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Team met us at the terminal for a quick transfer.
We are happy to report that the porpoise (determined to be a young adult male) is still hanging in there and under the care of the incredible Marine Mammal Rescue Team! We collectively have nicknamed this little guy “Levi” in honour of the Leviathan Milk Stout that was recently released by Phillip’s Brewery in Victoria in Support of Cetus Society and our programs.
We have to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in this rescue effort yesterday. It could not have run this smoothly without the incredible work of all those involved. We would also like to say a special thank you to locals Marilyn Harris and Sophie Keim who made themselves available for several hours yesterday to help with documenting the rescue as well as providing blankets and towels to help with transport, and some much needed sustenance for our rescue team!
Kind of gives our “pennies for a porpoise” campaign a fresh new meaning doesn’t it!
See CTV Coverage of the rescue here.
To report a dead, injured or distressed marine mammal please call the BC Marine Mammal Response Network at 1-800-465-4336