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Animals in Distress

Many marine mammals spend their life at sea like dolphins and whales, others often come to land like seals and penguins. When they do come to land, with all the best of intentions, we want to help. Often, we don’t know what to do. Here are a few hints to help along the way, it is just like basic first aid for humans.
1) Seals haul out regularly and rest. This is evident if you have been to any seal colonies. Please do not approach these animals, as they are large and very powerful, they can bite and hurt you.
2) Whales and dolphins do not naturally come to land unless they are sick or injured. There are other things that cause they to strand but most frequently the cause is as above. Call for help (local cape nature or rehabilitation centre). Keep the animal moist with wet towels, be careful not to pour water in their blow holes as this can cause them to drown. Be aware that if the animals is still in the water, its distress signals can attract sharks.
3) Penguins and other sea birds are also known for resting on land. Unless there is something obviously wrong with the bird, they can be left to rest. With the present endangered status of the penguins, the rule of thumb is to take them for medical assistance. Again, contact your local cape nature or rehabilitation centre. If you do not know how to handle these animals, leave it for the professionals. They can give a nasty bite.

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