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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inspirational Animal Rescue Stories

Sub Sea Systems and Sea TREK are committed to ocean conservancy. We are members of AMMPA, co-founders of Reef Alliance, and participate in Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup. Eco-tourism is one of the best ways to reach people’s hearts and inspire them to make positive changes toward protecting and conserving our world’s oceans and its amazing creatures.

There are many remarkable ocean animal rescue stories, and we are proud that Sea TREK is associated with some incredible programs, parks and aquariums that make great efforts to protect and rehabilitate injured and displaced sea creatures. From giant green sea turtles, to pregnant manatees — our world’s creatures need help. Education, passion, and action are the answers to the plight of our world’s oceans. We would like to share some inspiring stories about animal rescue efforts, and we hope you will be motivated to make a difference, too.

At SEA LIFE Manchester (the first European location to offer Sea TREK) Ernie the giant green sea turtle is a star, and the mascot for the aquarium’s ‘Breed, Rescue and Protect Program.’ Ernie was rescued from a farm in the Cayman Islands that raises turtles for turtle soup. He is addicted to sprouts, and furthermore only enjoys a particular brand of sprouts. Recently, Ernie has even been put on a diet because he is getting a little bit too fat! He is famous at SEA LIFE Manchester and has become known for ‘photobombing’ during Sea TREK tours. Thanks to all of the efforts that SEA LIFE has made, they have been able to fund a turtle hospital in Greece where 90% of loggerhead turtles nest. Ernie is unable to be released back into the wild, so he spends his days gliding through the gorgeous aquarium, eating his favorite brand of sprouts, and posing in photo shoots. Read more about the ‘Breed, Rescue, and Protect Program’ here. Learn more about Ernie here.

Another amazing animal that frequents a Sea TREK dive site is ‘Sharky’ the stingray at Xcaret Park in Mexico. ‘Sharky’ is missing his tail, and it is assumed it was bitten off by a shark, hence his nickname. ‘Sharky’ is not captive, but he is never far from the Sea TREK dive site. He loves to be fed, pet and play in the bubbles from the Sea TREK helmets. “He is happy living around Sea TREKKERS,“ says Jim Mayfield — owner and co-founder of Sub Sea Systems and Sea TREK, “it is amazing to see.” Learn about Xcaret’s protection programs here.

As you know, SeaWorld has been helping to rescue and rehabilitate animals for more than 50 years. From dolphins and pregnant manatees, to sea lions and pelicans, over 23,000 animals have been rescued. The majority of them are released back into the wild, while the small percentages that cannot return to nature are provided homes. SeaWorld has an amazing Pinterest board called ‘365 days of rescue’ that outlines many of their miraculous rescue stories.

Discovery Cove in Orlando (a SeaWorld Park) also offers an amazing educational Sea TREK helmet dive, and the education does not stop at the park; Discovery Cove offers hundreds of educational community outreach programs each year, finding and filling “eager hearts with an appreciation of the natural world.”

Sea TREK of Cabo Expeditions in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is owned and operated by a very talented photographer — Oscar Ortiz. His passion for the ocean is apparent in his photography, but it does not stop there. In 2010 Oscar, the staff at Cabo Expeditions, and the Mexican Navy helped to free a humpback whale from the clutches of fishnet that was wrapped around its fins. The team worked for 2 hours, meticulously and carefully cutting away the knotted net. One staff member was almost knocked out after a swift ‘whack’ from the whale’s tail. Seth Romans, Cabo Expeditions’ Director of Marketing, shares “I’m really proud to be associated with a team that saved this and many other whales. The entire team at Cabo Expeditions is absolutely passionate about the preservation and protection of the natural environment… they are true heroes.” Read the full story here or watch the video here.

Coral World Ocean Park, another location that also offers Sea TREK, is on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands are nesting sites for hawksbill sea turtles. Every year an incredible hatching takes place and thousands of tiny turtles make their way out to the sea, but when things go wrong Coral World is there to help. Any of these little guys who lose their way have a home at Coral World until they are ready to be released into deep waters where they will grow up to 150 pounds. Coral World reminds us that we can help protect these wonderful creatures by keeping plastic out of the sea and out of the bellies of these beautiful babies! For more information click here.

We know you have some amazing stories you would love to share with us, and we would love it, too. Comment below, and remember our world’s oceans need us, as much as we need them. Pick up trash, reduce, reuse, recycle, and help conserve the home of our friendly sea creatures.