World Wildlife Day – a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s flora and fauna. With many of the world’s species declining it’s a good opportunity to remind ourselves of what impact we are having on wildlife, and how we can help.
'Life below water’ is this year’s theme, so what better time to reintroduce our two seals to you – Kaiako and Orua – both rescues from the wild. Both brought in as pups, one with a flipper and eye injury after being hit by a boat, and the other malnourished and dehydrated, they were unable to be returned to the wild.
With 40% of the ocean heavily affected by overexploitation of marine species, along with the threats of plastic pollution, loss of coastal habitats and climate change, it’s important to acknowledge the impact of humans not only on these gorgeous marine mammals, but on the other 200,000 species that share the marine environment.
As our seals age it is important we ensure their health and wellbeing remains in excellent condition. As seen above, seal keeper Odin is feeding Orua by asking for a behaviour – getting Orua to dive and jump out of the water. This is a great way to ensure he is still moving well, agile and encourages exercising. Feeding can also be done while asking them for husbandry behaviours such as checking their mouths and grooming, and also while teaching new behaviours.