Marion Pellicano Ambrose
Our last day at the Marine Mammal Conservancy started early today. We left the hotel at 3am for a 3:15 arrival. Whale 301 (the baby) was sleeping in her pen, resting her head against the soft yellow divider just as she would against her mother in the wild. Perhaps it gave the little orphan some comfort. Whale 300 was still being supported by 4 volunteers and a supervisor. She is doing better, respirations down to a more normal count and heart rate strong and also at a more normal level.
My friend Patty suited up immediately and joined three others in the water. I took the job of scribe today, keeping time, recording vitals and documenting behavior and nebulizer treatments. About 2hours into the shift, 300 suddenly bucked and tried to swim on her own. She scared the daylights out of the volunteers, but the “professional” volunteers flew to her side and raised her head back above the surface and calmed her down. I was so upset, thinking something was wrong, but Marco, one of the MMC’s most dedicated “professional “volunteers, explained that this was a good sign; 300 is feeling her oats! She calmed back down and cooperated fully for her nebulizer treatment and a visit from the Vet.
I hate to have to leave today. Over these few short days I’ve grown attached to these beautiful creatures and am in awe of the many people who give so much of themselves to help. To Marco, Bruce, Mike, Patrick, Robert, Mica, Becca, Alice and all the other “regulars” at MMC, thank you for all you do to save these amazing Marine creatures, and to educate people like me so that I can have a new awareness and appreciation of all Marine Mammals! I wish you great success in your work and look forward to the day 300 will be released to a pod of Pilot Whales in the wild. I know 301 will be cared for and the best possible decision will be made for her future if it is decided she’s too young to be released. I know I’ll be back again, because this experience has truly touched my heart and forged a connection that will not be broken.
If you’re interested in helping the Marine Mammal Conservancy with a donation, sending items on their wish list, volunteering, or coming to them for classes, you can contact them at : www.MarineMammalConservacy.org