The Coalition has been concerned for some time over the fact there’s no rescue equipment in the Baja Lagunas for entangled whales and calves.
Last year, it was heartbreaking to witness two calves entangled with rope, one had rope around its mouth, and the other around its tail and body. In spite of attempts to free the animals, no one succeeded in this dangerous work. The fate of these young whales was a slow and painful death.
With no tools and no training, the situation in the Lagunas was pretty bad. This year, the Coalition went on its annual trip to San Ignacio but we stopped in Los Angeles to meet with Peter Wallerstein from Marine Animal Rescue. Peter is one of those unrecognised heroes who has rescued hundreds and hundreds of marine animals, working tirelessly day and night. The work is dangerous and not well supported financially.
When we met, Peter had just rescued his 200th sea lion pup. With the catastrophic stranding of more than 900 sea lion pups along the California Coast, this year’s cohort is in deep trouble. Many of the pups were turning up in car parks, outside cafes, anywhere they could find warmth. All were starving and so are their mothers. But Peter was able to give some good advice on how to help our Mexican friends.
It’s not just the Baja Lagunas which are having problems with entangled animals but also at Ensenada, La Paz and no doubt other areas. We were able to get prototypes and designs of rescue tools to ProNatura in Ensenada and to a veterinarian at La Paz university so that something can be done to deal with the increasing number of entanglements. We hope to fund some Mexican folk to be trained by Peter Wallerstein later in the year when the sea lion pup crisis is over.
The Coalition has donated some funds to Peter’s work and we will continue to support his efforts as funds become available.